Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 298, Issue 1–2, pp 31–45 | Cite as

Stable isotope composition of water in desert plants

  • J. R. Gat
  • D. YakirEmail author
  • G. Goodfriend
  • P. Fritz
  • P. Trimborn
  • J. Lipp
  • I. Gev
  • E. Adar
  • Y. Waisel
Regular Article

Abstract

A survey of the stable isotope content of tissue waters of plants from the Negev desert was conducted. Large differences were observed in the extent of enrichment of the heavy isotopes in leaf water relative to local precipitation among different plants. This is apparently caused by the species-dependent stratagems adopted by the plants to cope with water stress, primarily by differences in the depth of water uptake in the soil and through the timing of stomatal openings during the daily cycle. Salt stressed plants showed extreme variability in the isotopic composition of leaf–water. The results show that plants with adaptation to arid conditions can avoid the transpiration regime, which would lead to the strong isotopic enrichment in their leaf water expected under arid conditions. This has implications for the use of stable isotopes in plants as indicators of either plant ecophysiology or paleoclimate.

Keywords

Stable isotopes 182Desert plants Water stress Leaf water 

Notes

Acknowledgement

Support from the GIF (German Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development) and from the Israel Academy of Science is gratefully acknowledged. The complete dataset obtained in this project is available in the final report of the GIF Research project I-125-049-08/89 entitled “Water isotopes in desert plants; an indicator of water usage patterns and a paleoclimatic tool for studying arid zone climate changes in plant proxy materials”, June 1994.

References

  1. Adar EM, Gev I, Berliner P, Issar AS (1995) The effect of forestation on a shallow groundwater reservoir in an arid sand dune terrain. Journal of Arid Land Studies 58:259–262Google Scholar
  2. Adar EM, Gev 1, Lipp J, Yakir D, Gat JR (1995) Utilization of oxygen-18 and deuterium in stem flow for the identification of transpiration sources: soilwater vs. groundwater in sand dune terrain. In: Adar E, Leibundgut C (eds) Application of tracers in arid zone hydrology. IAHS Publ 232, pp 329–338Google Scholar
  3. Adar EM, Dody A, Geyh AM, Yair A, Yakirevich A, Issar AS (1998) Distribution of stable isotopes in arid storms: relation between the distribution of isotopic composition in rainfall and in the consequent runoff. Hydrogeol J 6:50–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allison GB, Barnes CB, Hughes MW (1983) The distribution of deuterium and oxygen-18 in dry soil. J Hydrol 64:377–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Allison GB, Gat JR, Leaney MW (1985) The relationship between deuterium and oxygen-18 values in leaf water. Isot Geosci 58:145–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barbour MM, Cernusak LA, Whitehead D, Griffin KL, Turnbull MH, Tissue DT, Farquhar GD (2005a) Nocturnal stomatal conductance and implications for modelling delta O-18 of leaf-respired CO2 in temperate tree species. Functional Plant Biol 32:1107–1121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barbour MM, Cernusak LA, Farquhar GD (2005b) Factors affecting the oxygen isotope ratio of plant organic material. In: Flanagan LB, Ehleringer JR, Pataki DE (eds) Stable isotopes and biosphere–atmosphere interactions. Elsevier, San Diego, pp 9–28Google Scholar
  8. Cernusak LA, Pate JS, Farquhar GD (2002) Diurnal variation in the stable isotope composition of water and dry matter in fruiting Lupinus angustifolius under field conditions. Plant Cell Environ 25:893–907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Craig H, Gordon L (1965) Deuterium and oxygen-18 variations in the ocean and marine atmosphere. In: Tongiorgi E (ed) Stable isotopes in oceanographic studies and paleotemperatures. Pisa, Lab Geol Nucleare, pp 9–130Google Scholar
  10. Dansgaard W (1964) Stable isotopes in precipitation. Tellus 16:436–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dawson TE, Ehleringer JR (1993) Isotopic enrichment of water in the woody tissues of plants – implications for plant water source, water-uptake, and other studies which use the stable isotopic composition of cellulose. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 57:3487–3492 (Jul)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DeNiro MJ, Epstein S (1979) Relationship between oxygen isotope ratios of terrestrial plant cellulose, carbon dioxide and water. Science 204:51–53PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dody A (1995) Isotopic composition of rainfall and runoff in a small arid basin with implications for deep circulation. Ph.D. thesis, Ben Gurion University of the Negev Beersheva, 175 pagesGoogle Scholar
  14. Dody A, Adar EM, Yakirevich A, Geyh MA, Yair A (1995) Evaluation of depression storage in an arid rocky basin using stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen. In: Adar EM, Leibengut Ch (eds) Application of tracers in arid zone hydrology. IAHS Publ 232, pp 417–427Google Scholar
  15. Dongmann G, Nurnberg HW, Forstel H, Wagener K (1974) Enrichment of H2 18O in leaves of transpiring plants. Radiat Environ Biophys 11(1):41–52PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ehleringer JR, Dawson TE (1992) Water uptake by plants, perspectives from stable isotope composition. Plant Cell Environ 15:1073–1082CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ellsworth PZ, Williams DG (2007) Hydrogen isotope fractionation during water uptake by woody xerophytes. Plant Soil 291:93–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Epstein S, Yapp CI, Hall CH (1976) The determination of D/H ratios of nonexchangeable hydrogens in cellulose extracted from aquatic and land plants. Earth Planet Sci Lett 30:241–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Farquhar GD, Cernusak LA (2005) On the isotopic composition of leaf water in the non-steady state. Functional Plant Biol 32:293–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Farquhar GD, Gan KS (2003) On the progressive enrichment of the oxygen isotopic composition of water along a leaf. Plant Cell Environ 26:1579–1597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Farquhar GD, Lloyd J (1993) Carbon and oxygen isotope effects in the exchange of carbon dioxide between plants and the atmosphere. In: Ehleringer JR, Hall AE, Farquhar GD (eds) Stable isotopes and plant carbon/water relations. Academic, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  22. Farquhar GD, Barbour MM, Henry BK (1998) Interpretation of oxygen isotope composition of leaf material. In: Griffiths H (ed) Stable isotpes: the integration of biological, ecological and geochemical processes. Bios Scientific Publishers, pp 27–62Google Scholar
  23. Gan KS, Wong SC, Yong JWH, Farquhar GD (2002) O-18 spatial patterns of vein xylem water, leaf water, and dry matter in cotton leaves. Plant Physiol 130:1008–1021PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gan KS, Wong SC, Yong JWH, Farquhar GD (2003) Evaluation of models of leaf water O-18 enrichment using measurements of spatial patterns of vein xylem water, leaf water and dry matter in maize leaves. Plant Cell Environ 26:1479–1495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gat JR (1995) Stable isotopes of fresh and saline lakes. In: Lerman A, Imboden D, Gat J (eds) Physics and chemistry of lakes. Springer, Berlin, pp 139–166Google Scholar
  26. Gat JR (1998) Stable isotopes, the hydrologic cycle and the terrestrial biosphere. In: Griffiths H (ed) Stable isotopes: the integration of biological, ecological and geochemical processes. Bios Scientific, Oxford, pp 397–408Google Scholar
  27. Gat JR, Bowser C (1991) The heavy isotope enrichment of water in coupled evaporative systems. In: Taylor HP, O’Neil JR, Kaplan IR (eds) Stable isotope geochemistry. Geochem Soc Spec Publ 3:159–168Google Scholar
  28. Gat JR, Carmi I (1970) Evolution of the isotopic composition of atmospheric waters in the Mediterranean Sea area. J Geophys Res 75:3039–3048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gat JR, Issar A (1974) Desert isotope hydrology: water sources of the Sinai Desert. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 38:1117–1131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gonfiantini R (1981) In: Gat JR,Gonfiantini R (eds) Deuterium and oxygen-18 in the water cycle. Rep. 210, IAEA Tech, pp 35–84Google Scholar
  31. Gonfiantini R, Gratziu S, Tongiorgi E (1965) Oxygen isotope composition of water in leaves. In: Isotopes and radiation in soil–plant nutrition studies. IAEA, Vienna, pp 405–410Google Scholar
  32. Helliker BR, Ehleringer JR (2000) Establishing a grassland signature in veins: O-18 in the leaf water of C-3 and C-4 grasses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97:7894–7898PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Issar A, Nativ R, Karnieli A, Gat JR (1984) Isotopic evidence of the origin of groundwater in arid zones. In: Isotope hydrology 1983. IAEA, Vienna, pp 85–104Google Scholar
  34. Lai CT, Ehleringer JR, Bond BJ, UKTP (2006) Contributions of evaporation, isotopic nonsteady state transpiration and atmospheric mixing on the delta O-18 of water vapour in Pacific Northwest coniferous forests. Plant Cell Environ 29:77–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Leguy C, Rindsberger M, Zangwil A, Issar A, Gat JR (1983) The relation between the oxygen-18 and deuterium content of rainwater in the Negev Desert and air masses trajectories. Isot Geosci 1:205–218Google Scholar
  36. Levin M, Gat JR, Issar A (1980) Precipitation, flood and groundwaters of the Negev Highlands: an isotopic study of desert hydrology. In: Arid zone, hydrology: investigation with isotope techniques. IAEA, Vienna, pp 2–22Google Scholar
  37. Lin G, Sternberg LSL (1993) Hydrogen isotopic fractionation by plant roots during water uptake in coastal plants. In: Griffiths H (ed) Stable isotopes: the integration of biological, ecological and geochemical processes. Bios Scientific Publishers, pp 497–510Google Scholar
  38. Merlivat L (1978) Molecular diffusivities H2 16O, HD16O and H2 18O in gases. J Chem Phys 69:2864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Revesz K, Woods PH (1990) A method to extract soil water for stable isotope analysis. J Hydrol 115:397–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Saurer M, Robertson I, Siegwolf R, Leuenberger M (1998) Oxygen isotope analysis of cellulose: an inter-laboratory comparison. Anal Chem 70:2074–2080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Seibt U, Wingate L, Berry JA, Lloyd J (2006) Non-steady state effects in diurnal O-18 discrimination by Picea sitchensis branches in the field. Plant Cell Environ 29:928–939PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Shomer-Ilan A, Nissenbaum A, Waisel Y (1981) Photosynthetic pathways and the ecological distribution of the Chenopodiaceae in Israel. Oecologia 48:244–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Yair A, Sharon D, Lavee H (1978) An instrumented watershed for the study of partial area contribution of runoff in an arid zone. Z Geomorphol Suppl 29:71–82Google Scholar
  44. Yakir D (1991) Water compartmentation in plant tissue: isotopic evidence. In: Somero GN, Osmond CB, Bolis CL (eds) Water and life. Springer, Berlin, pp 205–222Google Scholar
  45. Yakir D (1992) Variations in the natural abundance of oxygen-18 and deuterium in plant carbohydrates: Commissioned review. Plant Cell Environ 15(9):1005–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yakir D (1998) Oxygen-18 in leaf water: a crossroad for plant-associated isotopic signals. In: Griffiths H (ed) Stable isotopes: the integration of biological, ecological and geochemical processes. Bios Scientific, Oxford, pp 147–168Google Scholar
  47. Yakir D, DeNiro MJ (1990) Oxygen and hydrogen isotope fractionation during cellulose metabolism in Lemma gibba L. Plant Physiol 93:325–332PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yakir D, Yechieli Y (1995) Plant invasion of newly exposed hypersaline Dead Sea shores. Nature 374:803–805CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Yakir D, DeNiro MJ, Gat JR (1990) Deuterium and oxygen-18 enrichment in leafwaters of cotton plants grown under wet and dry conditions: evidence for water compartmentation and its dynamics. Plant Cell Environ 13:49–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yapp CJ, Epstein S (1977) Climatic implications of D/H ratios of meteoric water over North America (9500–22000 B.P.) as inferred from ancient wood cellulose C–H hydrogen. Earth Planet Sci Lett 34:333–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Waisel Y, Pollak G (1969) Estimation of water stresses in the active root zone of some native hydrophytes in Israel. J Ecol 57:789–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wang X-F, Yakir D (1995) Temporal and spatial variations in the oxygen-18 content of leaf water in different plant species. Plant Cell Environ 18:1377–1385CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Gat
    • 1
  • D. Yakir
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Goodfriend
    • 1
  • P. Fritz
    • 2
  • P. Trimborn
    • 2
  • J. Lipp
    • 2
  • I. Gev
    • 3
  • E. Adar
    • 3
  • Y. Waisel
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences and Energy ResearchWeizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.GSF-NeuherbergMunichGermany
  3. 3.Blaustein Institutes for Desert ResearchBen-Gurion UniversitySede Boker CampusIsrael
  4. 4.Department of Plant SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations