Oecologia

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 486–489 | Cite as

Hydraulic lift: Substantial nocturnal water transport between soil layers by Artemisia tridentata roots

  • J. H. Richards
  • M. M. Caldwell
Original Papers

Summary

Diel soil water potential fluctuations reflected daytime depletion and nocturnal resupply of water in upper soil layers. Transpiration suppression experiments demonstrated that water absorption by roots caused the daytime depletion. The soil water potential data and experimental results suggest that at night water absorbed from moist soil by deeper roots is transported to and lost from roots into drier upper soil layers. The deeper roots appear to absorb and transport water both day and night. Implications for the efficiency of deep roots and water storage, nutrient uptake and water parasitism in upper soil layers are discussed.

Key words

Root water efflux Roots Soil water potential Plant water relations Desert shrubs 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. Richards
    • 1
  • M. M. Caldwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Range Science and the Ecology CenterUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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