Leaf sizes tied to water availability

Using three-dimensional computer models, Lawren Sack, UCLA professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and collaborators, including Ph.D. candidate and lead author, Christine Scoffoni, simulated the impacts of embolisms on water transport for leaves of different sizes and vein architectures. They found that the distinct vein systems of smaller leaves are structurally and physiologically better adapted for plants to live in dry soil, contributing to survival during periods of drought.