Fluxes of nutrients in the xylem sap vary dynamically. They are indicative of the status of the plant – similar to the blood in medical applications – and can be used to address basic as well as applied questions. Innovative methods recently have been developed and used to study the impact of internal mechanisms in the plant as well as the effect of external conditions on xylem-sap composition, nutrient fluxes and allocation in intact, transpiring plants. A brief comparison of these methods describes their application potential and drawbacks. The relevance of the dynamic variation of nutrient fluxes is discussed by using key studies of the dynamic impact of external and internal conditions. The need for additional research on the dynamics of solute fluxes in the xylem and its combination with phloem flux analysis to understand the allocation of substances within plants mechanistically is put forward.

Key words

flow velocity online xylem analysis root pressure chamber xylem 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Gilmer
    • 1
  • U. Schurr
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere: ICG-III Phytosphere, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHGermany

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