Plant and Soil

, Volume 58, Issue 1–3, pp 339–366 | Cite as

Techniques and experimental approaches for the measurement of plant water status

  • Neil C. Turner
Experimental Approaches and Techniques


Plant Physiology Water Status Experimental Approach Plant Water Plant Water Status 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altmann, P. L. and Dittmer, D. S. (eds.) 1966 Environmental biology. Federation American Societies for Experimental Biology. Bethesda, Maryland.Google Scholar
  2. Barrs, H. D. 1968 Determination of water deficits in plant tissues. In: Water deficits and plant growth. I. Development, control and measurement. T. T. Kozlowski (ed.), pp. 235–368. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Barrs, H. D. and Weatherley, P. E. 1962 A re-examination of the relative turgidity technique for estimating water deficits in leaves. Aust. J. Biol. Sci. 15, 413–28.Google Scholar
  4. Beadle, C. L., Turner, N. C. and Jarvis, P. G. 1978 Critical water potential for stomatal closure in Sitka spruce. Physiol. Plant. 43, 160–5.Google Scholar
  5. Begg, J. E. and Turner, N. C. 1970 Water potential gradients in field tobacco. Plant Physiol. 46, 343–6.Google Scholar
  6. Begg, J. E. 1980 Morphological adaptations of leaves to water stress. In: Adaptation of plants to water and high temperature stress. N. C. Turner and P. J. Kramer (eds.), pp. 33–42. Wiley Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Black, C. R. 1979a The relationship between transpiration rate, water potential, and resistance to water movement in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). J. Exp. Bot. 30, 235–43.Google Scholar
  8. Black, C. R. 1979b The relative magnitude of the partial resistances to transpirational water movement in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). J. Exp. Bot. 30, 245–53.Google Scholar
  9. Blum, A. 1975 Infrared photography for selection of dehydration-avoidantSorghum genotypes. Z. Pflanzenzuecht. 75, 339–45.Google Scholar
  10. Blum, A. 1979 Genetic improvement of drought resistance in crop plants: a case for sorghum. In: Stress physiology in crop plants. H. Mussell and R. C. Staples (eds.), pp. 429–45. Wiley Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Bordeau, P. F. and Schopmeyer, C. S. 1958 Oleoresin exudation pressure in slash pine: its measurement, heritability, and relation to oleoresin yield. In: The physiology of forest trees. K. V. Thimann (ed.), pp. 313–9. Reinhold Press, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Boyer, J. S. 1967 Leaf water potentials measured with a pressure chamber. Plant Physiol. 42, 133–7.Google Scholar
  13. Boyer, J. S. 1969 Measurement of the water status of plants. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. 20, 351–64.Google Scholar
  14. Boyer, J. S. 1974 Water transport in plants: mechanism of apparent changes in resistance during absorption. Planta 117, 187–207.Google Scholar
  15. Brown and van Haveren, B. P. (eds.) 1972 Psychometry in water relations research. Utah Agric. Exp. Stn. Logan, Utah.Google Scholar
  16. Burch, G. J., Smith, R. C. G. and Mason, W. K. 1978 Agronomic and physiological responses of soybean and sorghum crops to water deficits. II. Crop evaporation, soil water depletion and root distribution. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 5, 169–77.Google Scholar
  17. Campbell, E. C., Campbell, G. S. and Barlow, W. K. 1973 A dew point hygrometer for water potential measurement. Agric. Meteorol. 12, 133–21.Google Scholar
  18. Campbell, G. S. and Campbell, M. D. 1974 Evaluation of a thermocouple hygrometer for measuring leaf water potential in situ. Agron. J. 66, 24–7.Google Scholar
  19. Câtský, J. 1965 Leaf disc method for determining water saturation deficit. In: Methodology of plant eco-physiology. Proceedings of the Montpellier Symposium, 1962. F. E. Eckardt (ed.), pp. 353–60. UNESCO, Paris.Google Scholar
  20. Câtský, J. 1969 Temperature effects in the measurement of water saturation deficit (relative water content) in tobacco and kale. Biol. Plant, 11, 381–3.Google Scholar
  21. Connor', D. J., Legge, N. J. and Turfer, N. C. 1977 Water relations of mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans F. Muell.) forests. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 4, 753–62.Google Scholar
  22. Constable, G. A. and Hearn, A. B. 1978 Agronomic and physiological responses of soybean and sorghum crops to water deficits. I. Growth, development and yield. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 5, 159–67.Google Scholar
  23. Denmead, O. T. and M. Millar Clar, B. D. 1975 Water transport in wheat. In: Heat and mass transfer in the biosphere. I. Transfer processes in plant environment. D. A. de Vries and N. H. Afgan (eds.), p.p. 395–402. Scripta, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  24. Ehrler, W. L., Idso, S. B., Jackson, R. D. and Reginato, R. J. 1978 Wheat canopy temperature: relation to plant water potential. Agron. J. 70, 251–6.Google Scholar
  25. Falk, S., Hertz, C. H. and Virgin, H. I. 1958 On the relation between turgor pressure and tissue rigidity. I. Experiments on resonance frequency and tissue rigidity. Physiol. Plant. 11, 802–17.Google Scholar
  26. Fischer, R. A., Sanchez, M. and Syme, J. R. 1977 Pressure chamber and air flow porometer for rapidGoogle Scholar
  27. Falk, S. O., Hertz, C. H. and Virgin, H. I. 1958 On the relation between turgor pressure and tissue rigidity. I. Experiments on resonance frequency and tissue rigidity. Physiol. Plant 11, 802–17.Google Scholar
  28. Fischer, R. A., Sanchez, M. and Syme, J. R. 1977 Pressure chamber and air flow prometer for rapid field indication of water status and stomatal condition in wheat. Exp. Agric. 13, 341–51.Google Scholar
  29. Fischer, R. A. and Sanchez, M. 1979 Drought resistance in spring wheat cultivars. II. Effects on plant water relations. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 30, 801–14.Google Scholar
  30. Fiscus, E. F. 1972In situ measurement of root-water potential. Plant Physiol. 50, 191–3.Google Scholar
  31. Grace, J. and Russell, G. 1977 The effect of wind on grasses. III: Influence of continuous drought or wind on anatomy and water relations inFestuca arundinacea Schreb. J. Exp. Bot. 28, 268–78.Google Scholar
  32. Green, P. B. 1968 Growth physics inNitella: a method for continuousin vivo analysis of extensibility based on a micro-manometer technique for turgor pressure. Plant Physiol. 43, 1169–84.Google Scholar
  33. Hammel, H. T. 1968 Measurement of turgor pressure and its gradient in the phloem of oak. Plant Physiol. 43, 1042–8.Google Scholar
  34. Heathcote, D. G., Etherington, J. R. and Woodward, F. I. 1979 An instrument for non-destructive measurement of the pressure potential (turgor) of leaf cells. J. Exp. Bot. 30, 811–6.Google Scholar
  35. Hellkvist, J. Richards, G. P. and Jarvis, P. G. 1974 Vertical gradients of water potential and tissue water relations in Sitka spruce trees measured with the pressure chamber. J. Appl. Ecol. 11, 637–67.Google Scholar
  36. Hoffman, G. J. and Rawlins, S. L. 1972 Silver foil psychrometer for measuring leaf water potential in situ. Science 177, 802–4.Google Scholar
  37. Höfler, K. 1920 Ein Schema fur die osmotische Leistung der Pflanzenzelle. Ber. Dtsch. Bot. Ges. 38, 288–98.Google Scholar
  38. Hsiao, T. C., Acevedo, E., Fereres, E. and Henderson, D. W. 1976 Water stress, growth and osmotic adjustment. Philos. Trans. Roy. Soc. London. Ser. B. 273, 479–500.Google Scholar
  39. Hüsken, D., Steudle, E. and Zimmermann, U. 1978 Pressure probe technique for measuring water relations of cells in higher plants. Plant Physiol. 61, 158–63.Google Scholar
  40. Jarvis, P. G. and Jarvis, M. S. 1963 The water relations of tree seedlings. IV. Some aspects of the tissue water relations and drought resistance. Physiol. Plant 16, 501–16.Google Scholar
  41. Jarvis, P. G. and Slatyer, R. O. 1966 Calibration of β gauges for determining leaf water status. Science 153, 78–9.Google Scholar
  42. Jones, H. G. 1979 Stomatal behavior and breeding for drought resistance. In: Stress physiology in crop plants. H. Mussell and R. C. Staples (eds.), pp. 407–28. Wiley Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  43. Jones, M. M. and Turner, N. C. 1978 Osmotic adjustment in leaves of sorghum in response to water deficits. Plant Physiol. 61, 122–6.Google Scholar
  44. Jones, M. M., Osmond, C. B. and Turner, N. C. 1980 Accumulation of solutes in leaves of sorghum and sunflower in response to water deficits. Aust. J. Plant. Physiol. 7, pp. 193–205.Google Scholar
  45. Kaplan, A. and Gale, J. 1974 Modification of the pressure-bomb technique for measurement of osmotic potential in halophytes. J. Exp. Bot. 25, 663–8.Google Scholar
  46. Klepper, B., Browning, V. D. and Taylor, H. M. 1971 Stem diameter in relation to plant water status. Plant Physiol. 48, 683–5.Google Scholar
  47. Ladiges, P. Y. 1975 Some aspects of tissue water relations in three populations ofEucalyptus viminalis Labill. New Phytol. 75, 53–62.Google Scholar
  48. Ludlow, M. M. 1976 Ecophysiology of C4 grasses. In: Water and plant life: problems and modern approaches. O. L. Lange, L. Kappen, and E.-D. Schulze (eds.), pp. 364–86. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  49. McCown, R. L. and Wall, B. H. 1979 Improvement of pressure chamber measurements of two legumes by constriction of stems. Plant Soil 51, 447–51.Google Scholar
  50. Meidner, H. and Edwards, M. 1975 Direct measurements of turgor pressure potentials of guard cells. I. J. Exp. Bot. 26, 319–30.Google Scholar
  51. Millar, B. D. 1966 Relative turgidity of leaves: temperature effects in measurement. Science 154, 512–3.Google Scholar
  52. Millar, B. D. and Hansen, G. K. 1975 Exclusion errors in pressure chamber estimates of leaf water potential. Ann. Bot. 39, 915–20.Google Scholar
  53. Nakayama, F. S. and Ehrler, W. L. 1964 Beta ray gauging technique for measuring leaf water content changes and moisture status of plants. Plant Physiol. 39, 95–8.Google Scholar
  54. Namken, L. N., Bartholic, J. F. and Runkles, J. R. 1971 Water stress and stem radial contraction of cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum L.) under field conditions. Agron. J. 63, 623–7.Google Scholar
  55. Neumann, H. H. and Thurtell, G. W. 1972 A Peltier cooled thermocouple dewpoint hygrometer forin situ measurement of water potentials. In: Psychrometry in water relations research, R. W. Brown and B. P. van Haveren (eds.), pp. 103–12. Utah Agric. Exp. Stn., Logan, Utah.Google Scholar
  56. Noy-Meir, I. and Ginzburg, B. Z. 1969 An analysis of the water potential isotherm in plant tissue. II. Comparative studies on leaves of different types. Aust. J. Biol. Sci. 22, 35–52.Google Scholar
  57. Oertli, J. J. 1976 The states of water in the plant-theoretical consideration. In: Water and plant life: problems and modern approaches. O. L. Lange, L. Kappen and Schulze, E.-D. (eds.), pp. 19–31. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  58. O'Toole, J. C. and Moya, T. B. 1978 Genotypic variation in maintenance of leaf water potential in rice. Crop Sci. 18, 873–6.Google Scholar
  59. Passioura, J. B. 1980 The meaning of matric potential. J. Exp. Bot. 31, 1161–9.Google Scholar
  60. Rawson, H. M., Turner, N. C. and Begg, J. E. 1978 Agronomic and physiological responses of soybean and sorghum crops to water deficits. IV. Photosynthesis, transpiration and water use efficiency of leaves. Aust. J. Plant. Physiol. 5, 195–209.Google Scholar
  61. Richards, L. A. and Ogata, G. 1958 Thermocouple for vapor pressure measurement in biological and soil systems at high humidity. Science 128, 1089–90.Google Scholar
  62. Ritchie, G. A. and Hinckley, T. M. 1975 The pressure chamber as an instrument for ecological research. Adv. Ecol. Res. 9, 165–254.Google Scholar
  63. Scholander, P. F., Hammel, H. T., Bradstreet, E. D. and Hemmingsen, E. A. 1965 Sap pressure in vascular plants. Science 148, 339–46.Google Scholar
  64. Shepherd, W. 1975 Matric water potential of leaf tissue-measurement and significance. J. Exp. Bot. 26, 465–8.Google Scholar
  65. Shimshi, D. 1979 Leaf permeability as an index of water relations, CO2 uptake and yield of irrigated wheat. Irrig. Sci. 1, 107–17.Google Scholar
  66. Shimshi, D. and Ephrath, J. 1975 Stomatal behavior of wheat cultivars in relation to their transpiration, photosynthesis and yield. Agron. J. 67, 326–31.Google Scholar
  67. Shimshi, D. and Livne, A. 1967 The estimation of the osmotic potential of plant sap by refractometry and conductometry: a field method. Ann. Bot. 31, 505–11.Google Scholar
  68. Slatyer, R. O. 1960 Aspects of the tissue water relationships of an important arid zone species (Acacia aneura F. Muell.) in comparison with two mesophytes. Bull. Res. Coun. Israel. Sect. D. 8, 159–68.Google Scholar
  69. Slavik, B. 1959 The relation of the refractive index of plant cell sap to its osmotic pressure. Biol. Plant. 1, 48–53.Google Scholar
  70. Slavík, B. 1974 Methods of studying plant water relations. Academia Publishing House, Prague, and Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  71. So, H. B. 1979 An analysis of the relationship between stem diameter and leaf water potentials. Agron. J. 71, 675–9.Google Scholar
  72. So, H. B., Reicosky, D. C. and Taylor, H. M. 1979 Utility of stem diameter changes as predictors of plant canopy water potential. Agron. J. 71, 707–13.Google Scholar
  73. Spanner, D. C. 1951 The Peltier effect and its use in the measurement of suction pressure. J. Exp. Bot. 2, 145–68.Google Scholar
  74. Spurway, R. A. 1979 Root growth and its effect on the supply of water to plants grown in monocultures and 1∶1 mixtures in an acid soil. Ph. D. thesis, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.Google Scholar
  75. Turner, N. C. 1974 Stomatal response to light and water under field conditions. In: Mechanisms of regulation of plant growth. R. L. Bieleski, A. R. Ferguson and Cresswell, M. M. (eds.), pp. 423–32. Bull. 12, Royal Society of New Zealand, Wellington.Google Scholar
  76. Turner, N. C. 1975 Concurrent comparisons of stomatal behavior, water status, and evaporation of maize in soil at high or low water potentiad. Plant Physiol. 55, 932–6.Google Scholar
  77. Turner, N. C. and Begg, J. E. 1973 Stomatal behavior and water status of maize, sorghum and tobacco under field conditions. I. At high soil water potential. Plant Physiol. 51, 31–6.Google Scholar
  78. Turner, N. C. and Incoll, L. D. 1971 The vertical distribution of photosynthesis in crops of tobacco and sorghum. J. Appl. Ecol. 8, 581–91.Google Scholar
  79. Turner, N. C. and Long, M. J. 1980 Errors arising from rapid water loss in the measurement of leaf water potential by the pressure chamber technique. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 7, 527–37.Google Scholar
  80. Turner, N. C., De Roo, H. C. and Wright, W. H. 1971 A pressure chamber for the measurement of plant water potential. Conn. Agric. Exp. Stn., New Haven, Spec. Soils Bull. 33, 1–9.Google Scholar
  81. Turner, N. C., Begg, J. E. and Tonnet, M. L. 1978a Osmotic adjustment of sorghum and sunflower crops in response to water deficits and its influence on the water potential at which stomata close. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 5, 597–608.Google Scholar
  82. Turner, N. C., Begg, J. E., Rawson, H. M., English, S. D. and Hearn, A. B. 1978b Agronomic and physiological responses of soybean and sorghum crops to water deficits. III. Components of leaf water potential leaf conductance,14CO2 photosynthesis, and adaptation to water deficits. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 5, 179–94.Google Scholar
  83. Tyree, M. T. 1976 Negative turgor pressure in plant cells: fact or fallacy? Can. J. Bot. 54, 2738–46.Google Scholar
  84. Tyree, M. T. and Hammel, H. T. 1972 The measurement of the turgor pressure and the water relations of plants by the pressure-bomb technique. J. Expt. Bot. 23, 267–82.Google Scholar
  85. Tyree, M. T., MacGregor, M. E., Petrov, A. and Upenieks, M. I. 1978 A comparison of systematic errors between the Richards and Hammel methods of measuring tissue water relations parameters. Can. J. Bot. 56, 2153–61.Google Scholar
  86. Virgin, H. I. 1955 A new method for the determination of the turgor of plant tissues. Physiol. Plant 8, 954–62.Google Scholar
  87. Waring, R. H. and Cleary, B. D. 1967 Plant moisture stress: evaluation by pressure bomb. Science 155, 1248–54.Google Scholar
  88. Wenkert, W., Lemon, E. R. and Sinclair, T. R. 1978 Water content — potential relationship in soya beans: changes in component potentials for mature and immature leaves under field conditions. Ann. Bot. 42, 295–307.Google Scholar
  89. Wiebe, H. H. 1972 The role of water potential and its components in physiological processes in plants. In: Psychrometry in water relations research, R. W. Brown and B. P. Van Haveren (eds.), pp. 194–7. Utah Agric. Exp. Stn., Logan, Utah.Google Scholar
  90. Wiebe, H. H., Brown, R. W., Daniel, T. W. and Campbell, E. C. 1970 Water potential measurements in trees. BioScience 20, 225–6.Google Scholar
  91. Wiebe, H. H., Campbell, G. S., Gardner, W. H., Rawlins, S. L., Cary, J. W. and Brown, R. W. 1971 Measurement of plant and soil water status. Bull. 484. pp. 1–71. Uta; Agric. Exp. Stn.Google Scholar
  92. Wilson, J. R., Fisher, M. J., Schulze, E.-D., Dalby, G. R. and Ludlow, M. M. 1979 Comparison between pressure-volume and dewpoint-hygometry techniques for determining the water relations characteristics of grass and legume leaves. Oecologia (Berlin) 41, 77–88.Google Scholar
  93. Zimmermann, U., Räde, H. and Steudle, E. 1969 Kontinuierliche Druckmessung in Pflanzenzellen. Naturwissenschaften 56, 634.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ICARDA and Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. W. Junk Publishers 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil C. Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Plant IndustryCSIROCanberra CityAustralia

Personalised recommendations