Uptake of water and solutes through twigs of Picea abies (L.) Karst
- Cite this article as:
- Katz, C., Oren, R., Schulze, ED. et al. Trees (1989) 3: 33. doi:10.1007/BF00202398
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Uptake of water and magnesium chloride solution was investigated through the outer surface of twigs of Picea abies (L.) Karst. Water uptake was determined by using pressure/volume (P/V) curves of the twigs as a basis for calculation to avoid problems of superficial extraneous water. When water was sprayed on bark and needles of 3- to 7-year-old twigs at a xylem water potential of -1.00 MPa, they absorbed as much as 80 mm3 water in 200 min/g twig dry weight as the twig water potential recovered to -0.15 MPa. With fluorescent dyes, pathways for absorption of water and solutes through the twig bark were found, particularly through the radially orientated ray tissue. In addition to uptake by mass flow, magnesium could also diffuse along a concentration gradient from the twig surface into the xylem. In the field, the magnitude of these uptake processes would depend on the concentration of elements deposited by atmospheric precipitation, the concentration gradient between the plant surface and the xylem sap, the xylem water potential and the intensity and duration of each precipitation event.