, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 675–688 | Cite as

Sap flow of black locust in response to environmental factors in two soils developed from different parent materials in the lithoid mountainous area of North China

  • Yuanzhi Wu
  • Yongkun Zhang
  • Juan An
  • Qianjin LiuEmail author
  • Ying Lang


Key message

Relative extractable water and reference evapotranspiration rate were the main environmental factors affecting sap flow in black locust trees in China, while soil parent material also influenced trees’ water use.


Whole-plant water use is affected by meteorological factors, soil water availability, and soil texture. Although water use by plants growing in lithoid mountainous areas with thin soil layers has been studied, the effect of soil parent material on whole-plant water use remained unclear. In the present study, we used thermal dissipation probe sensors to examine the effects of soil water availability and various meteorological factors on black locust sap flow in cinnamon and brown soils, originating from different parent materials. The results showed that vapour pressure deficit (VPD) and reference evapotranspiration rate (ET0) were more closely correlated with sap flow than solar radiation (Rs) and relative humidity (RH), but that Rs and ET0 explained more of the variation in sap flow than did the other two factors. Decreasing ET0 and VPD was produced a more sensitive sap flow response in trees that were growing in the cinnamon soil than in those growing in the brown soil, whereas the sap flow response to relative extractable water (REW) was less sensitive in the cinnamon soil than in the brown soil. REW and ET0 were the main environmental factors affecting sap flow. Furthermore, soil water content in cinnamon soil was not the only water source available to trees, as the exponential curve explained only 56% of the relationship between sap flow and REW. This finding indicated that soil parent material may have an important influence on plant water utilization. Future studies of plant water use should devote more attention to soil parent materials.


Plant water use Sap flow Parent material Meteorological factors Soil water availability 



This work was financed by the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (nos. 41101206, 41571261, 31500511). We thank the Tianbao National Forest Garden and Water Conservation Bureau of Pingyi County for assistance with the experiments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest exists in the submission of this manuscript. The work described is original research that has not been published previously and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, in whole or in part. All of the authors listed have approved the manuscript that is enclosed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuanzhi Wu
    • 1
  • Yongkun Zhang
    • 1
  • Juan An
    • 1
  • Qianjin Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ying Lang
    • 1
  1. 1.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Water and Soil Conservation and Environmental Protection, College of Resources and EnvironmentLinyi UniversityLinyiPeople’s Republic of China

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