Plant and Soil

, Volume 227, Issue 1–2, pp 77–85 | Cite as

Sap flow as an indicator of transpiration and the water status of young apricot trees

  • J.J. Alarcón
  • R. Domingo
  • S.R. Green
  • M.J. Sánchez-Blanco
  • P. Rodríguez
  • A. Torrecillas

Abstract

The relationship between water loss via transpiration and stem sap flow in young apricot trees was studied under different environmental conditions and different levels of soil water status. The experiment was carried out in a greenhouse over a 2-week period (November 2–14, 1997) using three-year-old apricot trees (Prunus armeniaca cv. Búlida) growing in pots. Diurnal courses of leaf water potential, leaf conductance and leaf turgor potential also were recorded throughout the experiment. Data from four days of different enviromental conditions and soil water availability have been selected for analysis. On each of the selected days the leaf water potential and the mean transpiration rates were well correlated. The slope of the linear regression of this correlation, taken to indicate the total hydraulic resistance of the tree, confirmed an increasing hydraulic resistance under drought conditions. When the trees were not drought stressed the diurnal courses of sap flow and transpiration were very similar. However, when the trees were droughted, measured of sap flow slightly underestimated actual transpiration. Our heat-pulse measurements suggest the amount of readily available water stored in the stem and leaf tissues of young apricot trees is sufficient to sustain the peak transpiration rates for about 1 hour.

drought hydraulic resistance leaf water relations 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.J. Alarcón
    • 1
  • R. Domingo
    • 2
  • S.R. Green
    • 3
  • M.J. Sánchez-Blanco
    • 1
  • P. Rodríguez
    • 1
    • 3
  • A. Torrecillas
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dpto. Riego y SalinidadCentro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CSIC)MurciaSpain
  2. 2.Dpto. Producción AgrariaEscuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agrónomica (ETSIA), Politécnica de Cartagena (UPCT)CartagenaSpain
  3. 3.HortResearch Institute, Palmerston NorthNew Zealand

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