Theoretical and Experimental Plant Physiology

, Volume 27, Issue 3–4, pp 251–262 | Cite as

Relationships between sap-flow measurements, whole-canopy transpiration and reference evapotranspiration in field-grown papaya (Carica papaya L.)

  • Tiago Massi Ferraz
  • Alena Torres Netto
  • Fabrício De Oliveira Reis
  • Anderson Lopes Peçanha
  • Elias Fernandes De Sousa
  • José Altino Machado Filho
  • Weverton Pereira Rodrigues
  • David Michael Glenn
  • Eliemar CampostriniEmail author


Whole-canopy gas exchange measurement in papaya can provide a scientific basis to optimize irrigation and fruit yield and quality. The objectives of this study were to: (1) verify the relationship between xylem sap flow measured by the heat coefficient method, and whole canopy transpiration in ‘Gran Golden’ papaya (Carica papaya L.), (2) examine the relationship between xylem sap flow determined from calculations based on forcing water flow through a stem section, and whole canopy transpiration, and (3) verify the relationship between transpiration measured in a plant chamber and calculated reference evapotranspiration (ET0). The experiment was conducted in a commercial planting at the Caliman Agrícola SA farm, Sooretama, ES, Brazil in summer and winter. Whole-canopy gas exchange was measured in custom-built, flow-through whole-canopy Mylar® chambers. There was a correlation (r2 = 0.65) between xylem sap flow measured with the heat coefficient (K) method and whole-canopy transpiration rate measured in the chambers. However, sap flow methodology could not convert this correlated response into an accurate estimate of papaya transpiration measured with whole canopy chambers. The sap flow methodologies were linearly correlated with whole canopy transpiration but each would require additional calibration to the crop. ET0 was correlated with whole canopy transpiration in winter but not in summer likely due to stomatal control of transpiration, as a result of the high leaf temperature and ET0 in summer. The concept of sap flow to measure transpiration has value in papaya production but supplementary studies will be necessary to improve the accuracy and estimation of the whole-canopy transpiration in the papaya plant.


Gas exchange Transpiration Temperature Water relations 



Heat coefficient


Reference evapotranspiration


Leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference




Photosynthetically active radiation



We acknowledge the support of Caliman Agrícola S/A, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP, Brazil), Fundação Carlos Chagas de Apoio à Pesquisa no Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ, Brazil), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Brazil) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES, Brazil). We are also thankful to Dynamax (Houston, Texas, USA) for providing the probes to measure the xylem sap flow. We are also thankful to Dr. Bruce Schaffer, Tropical Research & Education Center (TREC), University of Florida, USA for helpful grammar corrections.


Mention of a trademark, proprietary product, or vendor does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products or vendors that also may be suitable. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


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Copyright information

© Brazilian Society of Plant Physiology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiago Massi Ferraz
    • 1
  • Alena Torres Netto
    • 2
  • Fabrício De Oliveira Reis
    • 1
  • Anderson Lopes Peçanha
    • 2
  • Elias Fernandes De Sousa
    • 3
  • José Altino Machado Filho
    • 4
  • Weverton Pereira Rodrigues
    • 2
  • David Michael Glenn
    • 5
  • Eliemar Campostrini
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Biology, CESIState University of MaranhãoImperatrizBrazil
  2. 2.Plant Physiology Laboratory, LMGV, Agricultural Science and Technology CenterState University of North FluminenseCampos dos GoytacazesBrazil
  3. 3.Irrigation Sector, Agricultural Science and Technology CenterState University of North FluminenseCampos dos GoytacazesBrazil
  4. 4.Instituto de PesquisaAssistência Técnica e Extensão Rural do Espírito SantoLinharesBrazil
  5. 5.USDA-ARSAppalachian Fruit Research StationKearneysvilleUSA

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