Diel growth dynamics in tree stems: linking anatomy and ecophysiology

K. Steppe, F.J. Sterck, A. Deslauriers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


Impacts of climate on stem growth in trees are studied in anatomical, ecophysiological, and ecological disciplines, but an integrative framework to assess those impacts remains lacking. In this opinion article, we argue that three research efforts are required to provide that integration. First, we need to identify the missing links in diel patterns in stem diameter and stem growth and relate those patterns to the underlying mechanisms that control water and carbon balance. Second, we should focus on the understudied mechanisms responsible for seasonal impacts on such diel patterns. Third, information on stem anatomy and ecophysiology should be integrated in the same experiments and mechanistic plant growth models to capture both diel and seasonal scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-343
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • diameter variations
  • wood formation
  • sap-flow
  • water relations
  • hydraulic safety
  • phloem transport
  • munch hypothesis
  • turgor pressure
  • plant-responses
  • norway spruce

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