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Temperature heterogeneity over leaf surfaces: the contribution of the lamina microtopography

Saudreau, Marc, Ezanic, Amélie, Adam, Boris, Caillon, Robin, Walser, Pascal, Pincebourde, Sylvain
Plant, cell and environment 2017 v.40 no.10 pp. 2174-2188
apples, heat, irradiation, leaves, microrelief, models, physiological response, prediction, spatial variation, surface temperature, thermography, transpiration
Temperature is spatially heterogeneous over leaf surfaces, yet the underlying mechanisms are not fully resolved. We hypothesized that the 3D leaf microtopography determines locally the amount of incoming irradiation flux at leaf surface, thereby driving the temperature gradient over the leaf surface. This hypothesis was tested by developing a model of leaf temperature heterogeneity that includes the development of the leaf boundary layer, the microtopography of the leaf surface and the physiological response of the leaf. Temperature distributions under various irradiation loads (1) over apple leaves based on their 3D microtopography, (2) over simulated flat (2D) apple leaves and (3) over 3D leaves with a transpiration rate distributed as in 2D leaves were simulated. Accuracy of the predictions was quantified by comparing model outputs and thermographic measurements of leaf surface temperature under controlled conditions. Only the model with 3D leaves predicted accurately the spatial heterogeneity of surface temperature over single leaves, whereas the mean temperature was well predicted by both 2D and 3D leaves. We suggest that in these conditions, the 3D leaf microtopography is the primary driver of leaf surface heterogeneity in temperature when the leaf is exposed to a light/heat source.