Teemu Hölttä

I am an Associate Professor in metabolism of plant biophysics. My research is focused on how trees grow, uptake CO2 from the atmosphere, take water from the soil and transpire it to the atmosphere, and transport water and sugars for long distances amongst different organs such as the roots and the leaves. I am especially interested in xylem and phloem transport. Although trees do not have a central nervous system like animals, the xylem and phloem transport tissues function in a little bit similar manner as they transport information between the different organs in the form of hormonal signals as well as water pressure and osmotic concentration. The importance of the xylem and phloem transport tissue to tree function increases as trees grow in size. Also the construction and maintenance of the xylem and phloem transport tissues consume an increasing proportion of trees resources, such as carbon and nitrogen, with increasing tree size.

Unlike animals, trees cannot move and they have to remain in the same place for all of their lives. Thus they have to deal with a variety of environmental stresses such as drought, cold temperatures, and pathogen attacks. I study how trees deal with these kind of stresses, what is the limit to stress that they can still withstand, and how different species have different strategies in dealing with environmental stresses. I also study how trees adjust their structural and functional properties to match the environment where they live in.

See my publications in TUHAT.