Web Access Research Portal

Researcher: Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)

Fields of Research

Plant physiology
Biological adaptation
Ecological physiology
Plant cell and molecular biology
Plant biology
Plant developmental and reproductive biology
Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Biogeography and phylogeography
Crop and pasture biochemistry and physiology
Horticultural crop improvement (incl. selection and breeding)
Biological mathematics
Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation
Evolutionary impacts of climate change
Plant and fungus systematics and taxonomy
Gene mapping
Agro-ecosystem function and prediction
Tree improvement (incl. selection and breeding)
Horticultural crop protection (incl. pests, diseases and weeds)
Forestry management and environment
Crop and pasture production
Horticultural crop growth and development
Photogrammetry and remote sensing
Conservation and biodiversity
Palaeontology (incl. palynology)
Food chemistry and food sensory science
Plant biochemistry
Soil biology
Crop and pasture improvement (incl. selection and breeding)
Race, ethnicity and law
Artificial intelligence
Terrestrial ecology
Environmental rehabilitation and restoration
Agricultural hydrology
Phylogeny and comparative analysis
Carbon sequestration science

Research Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
Terrestrial biodiversity
Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
Native forests
Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments
Other environmental management
Hardwood plantations
Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
Management of water consumption by plant production
Horticultural crops
Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems
Terrestrial systems and management
Industrial crops
Ornamentals, natives, flowers and nursery plants
Wine grapes
Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments
Grains and seeds
Understanding climate change
Climate variability (excl. social impacts)
Softwood plantations
Grain legumes
Atmospheric composition (incl. greenhouse gas inventory)
Climate change mitigation strategies
Plant extract crops

Career Best Publications

Abscisic acid mediates a divergence in the drought response of two conifers; Plant Physiology
Conifer species adapt to low-rainfall climates by following one of two divergent pathways; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Differential leaf expansion can enable hydraulic acclimation to sun and shade; Plant, Cell and Environment
Diurnal depression of leaf hydraulic conductance in a tropical tree species; Plant, Cell and Environment
Global convergence in the vulnerability of forests to drought; Nature
Leaf hydraulic capacity in ferns, conifers and angiosperms: impacts on photosynthetic maxima; New Phytologist
Passive origins of stomatal control in vascular plants; Science
Separating active and passive influences on stomatal control of transpiration; Plant Physiology
Stomatal innovation and the rise of seed plants; Ecology Letters
Stomatal protection against hydraulic failure: a comparison of coexisting ferns and angiosperms; New Phytologist

Research Publications

Macrofossil evidence for the onset of xeromorphy in Australian Casuarinaceae and tribe Banksieae (Proteaceae); Journal of Mediterranean Ecology
A multi-species synthesis of physiological mechanisms in drought-induced tree mortality; Nature Ecology and Evolution
A unique mode of parasitism in the conifer coral tree Parasitaxus ustus (Podocarpaceae); Plant, Cell and Environment
A water availability gradient reveals the deficit level required to affect traits in potted juvenile Eucalyptus globulus; Annals of Botany
Abscisic acid (ABA) and key proteins in its perception and signaling pathways are ancient, but their roles have changed through time; Plant Signaling and Behavior
Abscisic acid controlled sex before transpiration in vascular plants; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Abscisic acid mediates a divergence in the drought response of two conifers; Plant Physiology
Acclimation of leaf anatomy, photosynthetic light use, and xylem hydraulics to light in Amborella trichopoda (Amborellaceae); Journal of Plant Sciences
Acclimation to humidity modifies the link between leaf size and the density of veins and stomata; Plant, Cell and Environment
Altitude of origin influences stomatal conductance and therefore maximum assimilation rate in Southern Beech, Nothofagus cunninghamii; Australian Journal of Plant Physiology
Amphistomatic leaf surfaces independently regulate gas exchange in response to variations in evaporative demand; Tree Physiology
An ecoclimatic framework for evaluating the resilience of vegetation to water deficit; Global Change Biology
An inconvenient truth about xylem resistance to embolism in the model species for refilling Laurus nobilis L.; Annals of Forest Science
An integrated hydraulic-hormonal model of conifer stomata predicts water stress dynamics; Plant Physiology
Anatomical constraints to nonstomatal diffusion conductance and photosynthesis in lycophytes and bryophytes; New Phytologist
Ancestral stomatal control results in a canalization of fern and lycophyte adaptation to drought; New Phytologist
Ancestral xerophobia: a hypothesis on the whole plant ecophysiology of early angiosperms; Geobiology
Angiosperm leaf vein evolution was physiologically and environmentally transformative; Royal Society of London. Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Angiosperms helped put the rain in the rainforests: The impact of plant physiological evolution on tropical biodiversity; Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Are flowers vulnerable to xylem cavitation during drought?; Royal Society of London. Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Are needles of Pinus pinaster more vulnerable to xylem embolism than branches? New insights from X-ray computed tomography; Plant, Cell and Environment
Article addendum. Uprooting an abscisic acid paradigm: shoots are the primary source; Plant Signalling and Behavior
Assessing the suitability of various screening methods as a proxy for drought tolerance in barley; Functional Plant Biology
Augmentation of abscisic acid (ABA) levels by drought does not induce short-term stomatal sensitivity to CO2 in two divergent conifer species; Journal of Experimental Botany
Australian palaeoecology - the evolution of the living biota; Ecology: An Australian Perspective
Bringing anatomy back into the equation; Plant Physiology
Casting light on xylem vulnerability in an herbaceous species reveals a lack of segmentation; New Phytologist
Cell expansion not cell differentiation predominantly co-ordinates veins and stomata within and among herbs and woody angiosperms grown under sun and shade; Annals of Botany
Changes in leaf hydraulic conductance during leaf shedding in tropical dry forest; New Phytologist
Chapter 10. The anatomical determinants of leaf hydraulic function; Functional and Ecological Xylem Anatomy
Climate drives vein anatomy in Proteaceae; American Journal of Botany
Conifer species adapt to low-rainfall climates by following one of two divergent pathways; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Conservative water management in the widespread conifer genus Callitris; AOB Plants
Continental-scale climatic drivers of growth ring variability in an Australian conifer; Trees: Structure and Function
Contrasting hydraulic regulation in closely related forage grasses: implications for plant water use; Functional Plant Biology: An International Journal of Plant Function
Coordinated plasticity maintains hydraulic safety in sunflower leaves; Plant, Cell and Environment
Coordination between leaf, stem, and root hydraulics and gas exchange in three arid‐zone angiosperms during severe drought and recovery; Plant, Cell and Environment
Declining hydraulic efficiency as transpiring leaves desiccate: two types of response; Plant, Cell and Environment
Differential leaf expansion can enable hydraulic acclimation to sun and shade; Plant, Cell and Environment
Direct X-Ray microtomography observation confirms the induction of embolism upon xylem cutting under tension; Plant Physiology
Diurnal depression of leaf hydraulic conductance in a tropical tree species; Plant, Cell and Environment
Does ozone increase ABA levels by non-enzymatic synthesis causing stomata to close?; Plant, Cell and Environment
Drought avoidance and vulnerability in the Australian Araucariaceae; Tree Physiology
Effect of limited water availability on foliar plant secondary metabolites of two Eucalyptus species; Environmental and Experimental Botany
Elegance versus speed: examining the competition between conifer and angiosperm trees; International Journal of Plant Sciences
Environmental adaptation in stomatal size independent of the effects of genome size; New Phytologist
Evolution in the smallest valves (stomata) guides even the biggest trees; Tree Physiology
Evolution of conifer foliage in the Southern Hemisphere; Acta Horticulturae
Evolution of stomatal responsiveness to CO2 and optimization of water-use efficiency among land plants; New Phytologist
Evolution of the stomatal regulation of plant water content; Plant Physiology
Evolutionary significance of a flat-leaved Pinus in Vietnamese rainforest; New Phytologist
Extreme aridity pushes trees to their physical limits; Plant Physiology
Factors determining stomatal and non-stomatal (residual) transpiration and their contribution towards salinity tolerance in contrasting barley genotypes; Environmental and Experimental Botany
Fern and lycophyte guard cells do not respond to endogenous abscisic acid; Plant Cell
Ferns are less dependent on passive dilution by cell expansion to coordinate leaf vein and stomatal spacing than angiosperms; PLoS One
Floral mass per area and water maintenance traits are correlated with floral longevity in Paphiopedilum (Orchidaceae); Frontiers in Plant Science
Forced depression of leaf hydraulic conductance in situ : effects on the leaf gas exchange of forest trees; Functional Ecology
Fossil evidence for Cretaceous escalation in angiosperm leaf vein evolution; National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America. Proceedings
Fossil evidence for low gas exchange capacities for Early Cretaceous angiosperm leaves; Paleobiology
From desert to rainforest, sapwood width is similar in the widespread conifer Callitris columellaris; Trees: Structure and function
From reproduction to production, stomata are the master regulators; The Plant Journal
Gas exchange recovery following natural drought is rapid unless limited by loss of leaf hydraulic conductance: evidence from an evergreen woodland; New Phytologist
Genetic differentiation in functional traits among European sessile oak populations; Tree Physiology
Giant cuticular pores in Eidothea zoexylocarya (Proteaceae) leaves; American Journal of Botany
Giant flowers of Southern magnolia are hydrated by the xylem; Plant Physiology
Global convergence in the vulnerability of forests to drought; Nature
Guard cells in fern stomata are connected by plasmodesmata, but control cytosolic Ca2+ levels autonomously; New Phytologist
Hardly a relict: Freezing and the evolution of vesselless wood in Winteraceae; Evolution
Hormonal dynamics contributes to divergence in seasonal stomatal behaviour in a monsoonal plant community; Plant, Cell and Environment
Hybrid origin of Athrotaxis laxifolia (Taxodiaceae) confirmed by random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis; Australian Journal of Botany
Hydraulic and photosynthetic co-ordination in seasonally dry tropical forest trees; Plant, Cell and Environment
Hydraulic design of leaves: insights from rehydration kinetics; Plant, Cell and Environment
Hydraulic failure defines the recovery and point of death in water-stressed conifers; Plant Physiology
Hydraulic tuning of vein cell microstructure in the evolution of angiosperm venation networks; New Phytologist
Imbricacy and stomatal wax plugs reduce maximum leaf conductance in Southern Hemisphere conifers; Australian Journal of Botany
Implications for leaf and shoot physiology in Podocarpaceae; Acta Horticulturae
Improving water transport for carbon gain in crops; Crop Physiology: Applications for Genetic Improvement and Agronomy
Incontinence in aging leaves: Deteriorating water relations with leaf age in Agastachys odorata (Proteaceae), a shrub with very long-lived leaves; Functional Plant Biology
Increases in Water Potential Gradient Reduce Xylem Conductivity in Whole Plants. Evidence from a Low-Pressure Conductivity Method; Plant Physiology
Independent genetic control of drought resistance, recovery, and growth of Eucalyptus globulus seedlings; Plant, Cell and Environment
Internal coordination between hydraulics and stomatal control in leaves ; Plant, Cell & Environment
Intraspecific variation in drought susceptibility in Eucalyptus globulus is linked to differences in leaf vulnerability; Functional Plant Biology
Leaf evolution in Southern Hemisphere conifers tracks the angiosperm ecological radiation; Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
Leaf hydraulic capacity in ferns, conifers and angiosperms: impacts on photosynthetic maxima; New Phytologist
Leaf hydraulic evolution led a surge in leaf photosynthetic capacity during early angiosperm diversification; Ecology Letters
Leaf hydraulic vulnerability influences species' bioclimatic limits in a diverse group of woody angiosperms; Oecologia
Leaf hydraulic vulnerability is related to conduit dimensions and drought resistance across a diverse range of woody angiosperms; New Phytologist
Leaf hydraulics and drought stress: response, recovery and survivorship in four woody temperate plant species; Plant, Cell and Environment
Leaf maximum photosynthetic rate and venation are linked by hydraulics; Plant Physiology
Leaf physiology does not predict leaf habit; examples from tropical dry forest; Trees
Leaves, not roots or floral tissue, are the main site of rapid, external pressure-induced ABA biosynthesis in angiosperms; Journal of Experimental Botany
Light response characteristics of a morphologically diverse group of southern hemisphere conifers as measured by chlorophyll fluorescence; Oecologia
Linking auxin with photosynthetic rate via leaf venation; Plant Physiology
Linking turgor with ABA biosynthesis: implications for stomatal responses to vapour pressure deficit across land plants; Plant Physiology
Links between environment and stomatal size through evolutionary time in Proteaceae; Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences
Mapping xylem failure in disparate organs of whole plants reveals extreme resistance in olive roots; New Phytologist
Measurements of stem xylem hydraulic conductivity in the laboratory and field; Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Mesophyll cells are the main site of abscisic acid biosynthesis in water-stressed leaves; Plant Physiology
Minimum hydraulic safety leads to maximum water-use efficiency in a forage grass; Plant, Cell and Environment
Molecular characterization of a mutation affecting abscisic acid biosynthesis and consequently stomatal responses to humidity in an agriculturally important species; AoB Plants
Non-invasive imaging reveals convergence in root and stem vulnerability to cavitation across five tree species; Journal of Experimental Botany
Non-invasive imaging shows no evidence of embolism repair after drought in tree species of two genera; Tree Physiology
On research priorities to advance understanding of the safety-efficiency tradeoff in xylem: A response to Bittencourt et al.'s (2016) comment 'On xylem hydraulic efficiencies, wood space-use and the safety-efficiency tradeoff': in this issue of New Phytologist, pp. 1152-1155; New Phytologist
Optical measurement of stem xylem vulnerability; Plant Physiology
Paleo-Antarctic rainforest into the modern Old World tropics: the rich past and threatened future of the “southern wet forest survivors”; American Journal of Botany
Passive origins of stomatal control in vascular plants; Science
Plant water-use strategy mediates stomatal effects on the light induction of photosynthesis; New Phytologist
Progressing from 'functional' to mechanistic traits; New Phytologist
Progressing from ‘functional’ to mechanistic traits; New Phytologist
Relations between stomatal closure, leaf turgor and xylem vulnerability in eight tropical dry forest trees; Plant, Cell & Environment
Residual transpiration as a component of salinity stress tolerance mechanism: a case study for barley; BMC Plant Biology
Responses to mild water deficit and rewatering differ among secondary metabolites but are similar among provenances within Eucalyptus species; Tree Physiology
Revealing catastrophic failure of leaf networks under stress; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Seasonal changes in plant-water relations influence patterns of leaf display in Miombo woodlands: evidence of water conservative strategies; Tree Physiology
Seedling growth in conifers and angiosperms: impacts of contrasting xylem structure; Australian Journal of Botany
Separating active and passive influences on stomatal control of transpiration; Plant Physiology
Shoot-derived abscisic acid promotes root growth; Plant, Cell and Environment
Significant contribution from foliage-derived ABA in regulating gas exchange in Pinus radiata; Tree Physiology
Similar geometric rules govern the distribution of veins and stomata in petals, sepals and leaves; New Phytologist
Small pores with a big impact; Plant Physiology
Stem hydraulic supply is linked to leaf photosynthetic capacity: evidence from New Caledonian and Tasmanian rainforests; Plant, Cell and Environment
Stem hydraulic traits and leaf water-stress tolerance are co-ordinated with the leaf phenology of angiosperm trees in an Asian tropical dry karst forest; Annals of Botany
Stem water transport and freeze-thaw xylem embolism in conifers and angiosperms in a Tasmanian treeline heath; Oecologia
Stomata: the holey grail of plant evolution; American Journal of Botany
Stomatal (mis)behaviour; Tree Physiology: An International Botanical Journal
Stomatal closure during leaf dehydration, correlation with other leaf physiological traits; Plant Physiology
Stomatal Control and Water Transport in the Xylem; Vascular Transport in Plants
Stomatal dynamics are limited by leaf hydraulics in ferns and conifers: results from simultaneous measurements of liquid and vapour fluxes in leaves; Plant, Cell and Environment
Stomatal innovation and the rise of seed plants; Ecology Letters
Stomatal protection against hydraulic failure: a comparison of coexisting ferns and angiosperms; New Phytologist
Stomatal responses to vapour pressure deficit are regulated by high speed gene expression in angiosperms; Plant, Cell and Environment
Structure and function of tracheary elements in Amborella trichopoda; International Journal of Plant Sciences
The evolution of mechanisms driving the stomatal response to vapour pressure deficit; Plant Physiology
The evolutionary relations of sunken, covered, and encrypted stomata to dry habitats in Proteaceae; American Journal of Botany
The importance of xylem constraints in the distribution of conifer species; New Phytologist
The influence of branch order on optimal leaf vein geometries: Murray's law and area preserving branching; PLOS One
The maximum height of grasses is determined by roots; Ecology Letters
The photosynthetic drought physiology of a diverse group of southern hemisphere conifer species is correlated with minimum seasonal rainfall; Functional Ecology
The rise and fall of the Podocarpaceae in Australia - a physiological explanation; Evolution of Plant Physiology from Whole Plants to Ecosystems.
Towards understanding the fossil record better: insights from recently deposited plant macrofossils in a sclerophyll-dominated subalpine environment; Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
Transport efficiency through uniformity: organization of veins and stomata in angiosperm leaves; New Phytologist
Triggers of tree mortality under drought; Nature
Turner Review No. 2 - Southern conifers in time and space; Australian Journal of Botany
Two measures of leaf capacitance: insights into the water transport pathway and hydraulic conductance in leaves; Functional Plant Biology: An International Journal of Plant Function
Understanding physiological and morphological traits contributing to drought tolerance in barley; Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Unified changes in cell size permit coordinated leaf evolution; New Phytologist
Unique responsiveness of angiosperm stomata to elevated CO2 explained by calcium signalling; PLoS One
Up-regulation of NCED3 and ABA biosynthesis occur within minutes of a decrease in leaf turgor but AHK1 is not required; Journal of Experimental Botany
Uprooting an abscisic acid paradigm: Shoots are the primary source; Plant Signaling & Behavior
Using fossil leaves as evidence for open vegetation; Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Vein density is independent of epidermal cell size in Arabidopsis mutants; Functional Plant Biology
Viewing leaf structure and evolution from a hydraulic perspective; Functional Plant Biology
Visual and hydraulic techniques produce similar estimates of cavitation resistance in woody species; New Phytologist
Visual quantification of embolism reveals leaf vulnerability to hydraulic failure; New Phytologist
Water loss physiology and the evolution within the Tasmanian conifer genus Athrotaxis (Cupressaceae); Australian Journal of Botany
Water Stress Deforms Tracheids Peripheral to the Leaf Vein of a Tropical Conifer; Plant Physiology
Water supply and demand remain balanced during leaf acclimation of Nothofagus cunninghamii trees; New Phytologist
Weak co-ordination between vein and stomatal densities in 105 angiosperm tree species along altitudinal gradients in Southwest China; Functional Plant Biology
Weak tradeoff between xylem safety and xylem-specific hydraulic efficiency across the world's woody plant species; New Phytologist
What are the evolutionary origins of stomatal responses to abscisic acid in land plants?; Journal of Integrative Plant Biology
Wheat leaves embolized by water stress do not recover function upon rewatering; Plant Cell and Environment
Xylem and stomata, coordinated through time and space; Plant, Cell and Environment
Xylem cavitation isolates leaky flowers during water stress in pyrethrum; New Phytologist
Xylem cavitation vulnerability influences tree species' habitat preferences in miombo woodlands; Oecologia
Xylem embolism spreads by single-conduit events in three dry forest angiosperm stems; Plant Physiology
Xylem function and growth rate interact to determine recovery rates after exposure to extreme water deficit; New Phytologist
Xylem hydraulic physiology: The functional backbone of terrestrial plant productivity; Plant Science: An International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology

Research Projects

ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Capturing Proteus: 65 million years of ecosystem change revealed through evolution of Proteaceae in Australasia; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Drought and death: past, present and future survival limits in the Australian vegetation landscape; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Finding damage thresholds in pyrethrum to optimise crop profitability; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Finding the failure-threshold of leaves in drought; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Global Differentiation of the Conifer Flora; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Mechanisms and evolution of plant water management; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Present and Past Relationships Between Leaf Morphology and Water Relations in the Tasmanian Conifer Athrotaxis; University of Tasmania (UTAS)
Survival of the drought tolerant: do eucalypts have the genetic potential to adapt to a hotter, drier Australia?; Eucalypt Australia(The Trustee for Bjarne Klaus Dahl Trust) (EucAus)
The future of forests under climatic stress; Australian Research Council (ARC)
The physical limits to water transport in plants and their impact on plant productivity; Harvard Club of Australia (HCoA)
The Role of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide in Fostering Hyperdiversity in Australian Conifer Palaeofloras; Australian Research Council (ARC)
The Role of Leaf Veins in Vascular Plant Evolution; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Understanding how plants overcome drought by controlling stomatal functionL applicability and impacts on agriculture; European Commission (EC)
Understanding the water relation dynamics of neighbour interactions in an experimental forest; Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (HWRE)
Variation in xylem vulnerability in Australian tree species; Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (HWRE)
Water Transport: A New Target for Improving Crop Productivity; University of Tasmania (UTAS)
Developing tools to screen native pepper for resistance to dieback and tolerance to drought
Heterogeneity in Leaf Photosynthesis

Research Candidate Supervision

Biogeographical and Ecological Predictors of Disjunction in the Tasmanian and New Zealand Flora
Evolutionary Innovations in the Stomatal Control of Vascular Plants
How amphistomous leaves relate to the evolution of open vegetation
Investigating the Evolutionary Aspects of Water Use Efficiency in Plants in Relation to Salinity and Drought
Leaf Hydraulics- Implications for Understanding Leaf Structure and Function, Drought Resistance and Community Assembly
Opportunities to Improve the Irrigation Efficiency of Dairy Pasture Systems through Management of Water Resources and an Understanding of Plant Water Relations
Plant Hydraulics, Water Supply and Damand, and Plasiticity.
Southeastern Australian Quaternary Plant Macrofossils as Indicators of Interactions Between Plants, Climate and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
The Effect of Drought and a Changing Environment on Quantitative Traits in Eucalyptus Species and the Extended Consequences on Communities and Ecosystems