microC-flux: Short-term carbon fluxes within foliage tissues of drought-tolerant conifers

This project will investigate the involvement of starch pools in the translocation of assimilates within pine foliage. The objectives include a) a new methodology; b) elucidation of short-term C-dynamics within pine foliage; and c) Modelling of the radial transports of water and sugars within pine needles. Therefore, within-needle C-fluxes will be analysed by means of nanoSIMS imaging, in the framework of pulse-chase experiments performed on pine saplings of 2 species. The diel C-assimilate-fluxes will be analysed, combining a) nanoSIMS imaging of 13C incorporated into needle starch pools, b) compound-specific C isotope analysis and c) tissue-level quantification of starch pools. In parallel, the radial transport of water and assimilates in needles will be analysed by means of a novel open-source model. Hence, a technological frontier in stable isotopes research will be pushed to unprecedented levels and the results will shed light on water and assimilate transport within foliage.

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