Advertisement

Trees

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 949–955 | Cite as

Changes in stem water content influence sap flux density measurements with thermal dissipation probes

  • Lidewei L. VergeynstEmail author
  • Maurits W. Vandegehuchte
  • Mary Anne McGuire
  • Robert O. Teskey
  • Kathy Steppe
Short Communication

Abstract

Key message

Stem WC may decline during the day. Zero-flow dT m increases when WC decreases. Use of nighttime dT m in the calculation of sap flux density during the day might introduce errors.

Abstract

There is increasing evidence of diel variation in water content of stems of living trees as a result of changes in internal water reserves. The interplay between dynamic water storage and sap flow is of current interest, but the accuracy of measurement of both variables has come into question. Fluctuations in stem water content may induce inaccuracy in thermal-based measurements of sap flux density because wood thermal properties are dependent on water content. The most widely used thermal method for measuring sap flux density is the thermal dissipation probe (TDP) with continuous heating, which measures the influence of moving sap on the temperature difference between a heated needle and a reference needle vertically separated in the flow stream. The objective of our study was to investigate how diel fluctuations in water content could influence TDP measurements of sap flux density. We analysed the influence of water content on the zero-flow maximum temperature difference, dT m, which is used as the reference for calculating sap flux density, and present results of a dehydration experiment on cut branch segments of American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.). We demonstrate both theoretically and experimentally that dT m increases when stem water content declines. Because dT m is measured at night when water content is high, this phenomenon could result in underestimations of sap flux density during the day when water content is lower. We conclude that diel dynamics in water content should be considered when TDP is used to measure sap flow.

Keywords

Dynamic water content Error analysis Granier equation Sap flow sensor Wood thermal characteristics 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Commission for Scientific Research (Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University) and the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO, PhD funding), granted to LLV and the US National Science Foundation, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (Grant 1021150), granted to ROT and MAM. We thank Doug Aubrey for instruction and advice on sensor preparation. We are also indebted to Philip Deman and Geert Favyts of the Laboratory of Plant Ecology for their valuable technical support, to Anita Gijselinck for the preparation of the sensors, and to Leendert Vergeynst and Maarten Soetaert for their thoughtful comments.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Alder NN, Sperry JS, Pockman WT (1996) Root and stem xylem embolism, stomatal conductance, and leaf turgor in Acer grandidentatum populations along a soil moisture gradient. Oecologia 105:293–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ayutthaya SIN, Do FC, Pannengpetch K, Junjittakarn J, Maeght JL, Rocheteau A, Cochard H (2010) Transient thermal dissipation method of xylem sap flow measurement: multi-species calibration and field evaluation. Tree Physiol 30:139–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brodribb TJ, Holbrook NM (2004) Diurnal depression of leaf hydraulic conductance in a tropical tree species. Plant Cell Environ 27:820–827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brough DW, Jones HG, Grace J (1986) Diurnal changes in water content of the stems of apple trees, as influenced by irrigation. Plant Cell Environ 9:1–7Google Scholar
  5. Bucci SJ, Scholz FG, Goldstein G, Meinzer FC, Sternberg LDSL (2003) Dynamic changes in hydraulic conductivity in petioles of two savanna tree species: factors and mechanisms contributing to the refilling of embolized vessels. Plant Cell Environ 26:1633–1645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burgess SSO, Adams MA, Turner NC, Beverly CR, Ong CK, Khan AAH, Bleby TM (2001) An improved heat pulse method to measure low and reverse rates of sap flow in woody plants. Tree Physiol 21:589–598PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carslaw HS, Jaeger JC (1959) Conduction of heat in solids, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, London, pp 261–262Google Scholar
  8. Cermák J, Kucera J, Bauerle WL, Phillips N, Hinckley TM (2007) Tree water storage and its diurnal dynamics related to sap flow and changes in stem volume in old-growth Douglas-fir trees. Tree Physiol 27:181–198PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Choat B, Jansen S, Brodribb TJ et al (2012) Global convergence in the vulnerability of forests to drought. Nature 491:752–755PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Cohen Y, Fuchs M, Green GC (1981) Improvement of the heat pulse method for determining sap flow in trees. Plant Cell Environ 4:391–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Do FC, Rocheteau A (2002) Influence of natural temperature gradients on measurements of xylem sap flow with thermal dissipation probes. 2. Advantages and calibration of a noncontinuous heating system. Tree Physiol 22:649–654PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Do FC, Isarangkool Na Ayutthaya S, Rocheteau A (2011) Transient thermal dissipation method for xylem sap flow measurement: implementation with a single probe. Tree Physiol 31:369–380PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Domec JC, Scholz FG, Bucci SJ, Meinzer FC, Goldstein G, Villalobos-Vega R (2006) Diurnal and seasonal variation in root xylem embolism in neotropical savanna woody species: impact on stomatal control of plant water status. Plant Cell Environ 29:26–35PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Granier A (1985) Une nouvelle méthode pour la mesure du flux de sève brute dans le tronc des arbres. Ann Sci For 42:193–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Granier A (1987) Mesure du flux de sève brute dans le tronc du Douglas par une nouvelle méthode thermique. Ann Sci For 44:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hao G-Y, Wheeler JK, Holbrook NM, Goldstein G (2013) Investigating xylem embolism formation, refilling and water storage in tree trunks using frequency domain reflectometry. J Exp Bot 64:2321–2332PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Jakieła S, Bratasz Ł, Kozłowski R (2007) Numerical modelling of moisture movement and related stress field in lime wood subjected to changing climate conditions. Wood Sci Technol 42:21–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Johnson DM, Woodruff DR, Mcculloh KA, Meinzer FE (2009) Leaf hydraulic conductance, measured in situ, declines and recovers daily: leaf hydraulics, water potential and stomatal conductance in four temperate and three tropical tree species. Tree Physiol 29:879–887PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jones HG (1992) Plants and microclimate: a quantitative approach to environmental plant physiology, 2nd edn. University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  20. López-Bernal Á, Testi L, Villalobos FJ (2012) Using the compensated heat pulse method to monitor trends in stem water content in standing trees. Tree Physiol 32:1420–1429 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lu P, Urban L, Zhao P (2004) Granier's Thermal Dissipation Probe (TDP) method for measuring sap flow in trees: Theory and practice. Acta Bot Sin 46:631–646Google Scholar
  22. Melcher PJ, Goldstein G, Meinzer FC, Yount DE, Jones TJ, Holbrook NM, Huang CX (2001) Water relations of coastal and estuarine Rhizophora mangle: xylem pressure potential and dynamics of embolism formation and repair. Oecologia 126:182–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Muggeo VMR (2008) Segmented: an R package to fit regression models with broken-line relationships. R News 8:20–25Google Scholar
  24. Pallardy SG (2008) Physiology of woody plants, 3rd edn. Academic Press, Oxford 454 Google Scholar
  25. Regalado CM, Ritter A (2007) An alternative method to estimate zero flow temperature differences for Granier's thermal dissipation technique. Tree Physiol 27:1093–1102Google Scholar
  26. Reyes-Acosta JL, Vandegehuchte MW, Steppe K, Lubczynski MW (2012) Novel cyclic heat dissipation method for the correction of natural temperature gradients in sap flow measurements Part 2. Laboratory validation. Tree Physiol 32:913–929PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sakuratani T (1981) A heat balance method for measuring water flux in the stem of intact plants. J Agric Meteorol 37:9–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Scholz FG, Bucci SJ, Goldstein G, Meinzer FC, Franco AC, Miralles-Wilhelm F (2007) Biophysical properties and functional significance of stem water storage tissues in Neotropical savanna trees. Plant Cell Environ 30:236–248PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Simpson WT, Liu JY (1991) Dependence of the water vapor diffusion coefficient of aspen (Populus spec.) on moisture content. Wood Sci Technol 26:9–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Summitt R, Sliker A (1980) Handbook of materials science wood, vol IV. CRC Press Inc, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  31. Swanson RH (1983) Numerical and experimental analyses of implanted-probe heat pulse velocity theory. Edmonton, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  32. Taneda H, Sperry JS (2008) A case-study of water transport in co-occurring ring-versus diffuse-porous trees: contrasts in water-status, conducting capacity, cavitation and vessel refilling. Tree Physiol 28:1641–1651PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tyree MT, Yang S (1990) Water-storage capacity of Thuja, Tsuga and Acer stems measured by dehydration isotherms. The contribution of capillary water and cavitation. Planta 182:420–426PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vandegehuchte MW, Steppe K (2012a) Improving sap flux density measurements by correctly determining thermal diffusivity, differentiating between bound and unbound water. Tree Physiol 32:930–942PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vandegehuchte MW, Steppe K (2012b) Sapflow+: a four-needle heat-pulse sap flow sensor enabling nonempirical sap flux density and water content measurements. New Phytol 196:306–317PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vandegehuchte MW, Steppe K (2013) Sap-flux density measurement methods: working principles and applicability. Funct Plant Biol 40:213–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Waring RH, Running SW (1978) Sapwood water storage: its contribution to transpiration and effect upon water conductance through the stems of old-growth Douglas-fir. Plant Cell Environ 1:131–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Waring RH, Whitehead D, Jarvis PG (1979) The contribution of stored water to transpiration in Scots pine. Plant Cell Environ 2:309–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zufferey V, Cochard H, Ameglio T et al (2011) Diurnal cycles of embolism formation and repair in petioles of grapevine (Vitis vinifera cv. Chasselas). J Exp Bot 62:3885–3894PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Zweifel R, Item H, Häsler R (2000) Stem radius changes and their relation to stored water in stems of young Norway spruce trees. Trees-Struct Funct 15:50–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zwieniecki MA, Holbrook NM (1998) Diurnal variation in xylem hydraulic conductivity in white ash (Fraxinus americana L.), red maple (Acer rubrum L.) and red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.). Plant Cell Environ 21:1173–1180CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lidewei L. Vergeynst
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maurits W. Vandegehuchte
    • 1
  • Mary Anne McGuire
    • 2
  • Robert O. Teskey
    • 2
  • Kathy Steppe
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Department of Applied Ecology and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Bioscience EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Warnell School of Forestry and Natural ResourcesUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations