, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 51–57 | Cite as

The effect of short-term flooding on the sap flow, gas exchange and hydraulic conductivity of young apricot trees

  • Emilio Nicolás
  • Arturo Torrecillas
  • José Dell’Amico
  • Juan José AlarcónEmail author
Original Article


The effect of short-term flooding was examined in 2-year-old apricot trees (Prunus armeniaca cv. Búlida). Six apricot trees of similar appearance were submitted to two treatments: three were irrigated daily, while the others were flooded for a period of 50 h by submerging the pots in plastic water tanks. The trees were removed from the water, drained and then placed in the same conditions as the control plants. A decrease in transpiration in the flooded trees with respect to the control plants was evident. The daily pattern of soil O2 concentration and plant hydraulic resistance followed a similar trend during the flooding. However, this relationship was not maintained throughout the experiment, since the O2 values increased rapidly when the waterlogging ceased, while plant hydraulic resistance only recovered at the end of the experiment when the original root system, damaged by flooded conditions, was replaced with new roots. In flooded trees, the midday leaf water potential decreased progressively from the beginning of flooding, but gradually recovered when the waterlogging ceased. Leaf conductance values of treated plants were slow to recover, reaching values of the control plants 8 days after the leaf water potential had recovered. The close relationship observed during most of the experiment between the leaf water parameters, leaf conductance and plant hydraulic conductance indicate that hydraulic messages are likely to play a dominant role in co-ordinating the observed responses of the shoot.


Flooding Leaf conductance Sap flow Transpiration Water relations 



The study was supported by two projects: “Riego inteligente para un manejo sostenible en frutales” (CYCIT-AGL2000-0387-CO5-O4) and “Desarrollo de un equipo autónomo para la medición de caudal de savia en plantas leñosas” (PETRI-95-0693-01).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilio Nicolás
    • 1
  • Arturo Torrecillas
    • 1
  • José Dell’Amico
    • 2
  • Juan José Alarcón
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura, CSICUnidad Asociada al CSIC de Horticultura Sostenible en Zonas Áridas (UPCT-CEBAS)MurciaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agrarias (INCA)San José de Las LajasCuba

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