Folia Geobotanica

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 25-36

First online:

Pressurised aeration in wetland macrophytes: Some theoretical aspects of humidity-induced convection and thermal transpiration

  • William ArmstrongAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Biology, University of Hull
  • , Jean ArmstrongAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Biology, University of Hull
  • , Peter M. BeckettAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Mathematics, University of Hull

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The pressurised gas-flows, humidity-induced convection (HIC) and thermal transpiration (TT), which are important for aeration and for greenhouse gas emissions in some wetland macrophytes, are described and discussed. Results obtained from simple mathematical modelling of the processes are presented to illustrate some of their more relevant features. It is emphasised that both processes require the presence of a micro-porous partition having a significantly greater resistance to pressure flow than to diffusion. In particular it is shown that whilst the potential to pressurise by these processes is inversely related to the pore diameters of the partition, the maximum gas flows are generated where pore diameters range from 0.1 to 0.2 μm. Where partitions are a surface feature (e.g. emergent macrophytes) a dominant role for HIC is predicted; where partitions are an embedded feature (e.g. water-lilies) it is deduced that HIC will still play a significant role, but the contribution of TT could be greater.


Diffusion Gas-transport Methane Oxygen Pressure-flow