Current models of leaf hydration employ an Ohm's law analogy of the leaf as an ideal capacitor, neglecting the resistance to flow between cells, or treat the leaf as a plane sheet with a source of water at fixed potential filling the mid-plane, neglecting the discrete placement of veins as well as their resistance. We develop a model of leaf hydration that considers the average conductance of the vascular network to a representative areole (region bounded by the vascular network), and represent the volume of tissue within the areole as a poroelastic composite of cells and air spaces. Solutions to the 3D flow problem are found by numerical simulation, and these results are then compared to 1D models with exact solutions for a range of leaf geometries, based on a survey of temperate woody plants. We then show that the hydration times given by these solutions are well approximated by a sum of the ideal capacitor and plane sheet times, representing the time for transport through the vasculature and tissue respectively. We then develop scaling factors relating this approximate solution to the 3D model, and examine the dependence of these scaling factors on leaf geometry. Finally, we apply a similar strategy to reduce the dimensions of the steady state problem, in the context of peristomatal transpiration, and consider the relation of transpirational gradients to equilibrium leaf water potential measurements.
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