The Regulation of Osmotic Potential in Trees

  • Andrew MerchantEmail author
Part of the Plant Ecophysiology book series (KLEC, volume 9)


The availability of water and the ability of plants to acquire it influence productivity among many ecosystems. For all plants, both terrestrial and marine, the modification of internal osmotic potential (ψπ) is a commonly observed response to changes in water availability. This chapter highlights that modification of ψπ and its effects on plant water potential (ψ) should be considered with regard to physiological relevance, particularly when discussing the physiology of trees. A limited range of solutes are suitable as cellular osmotica and we highlight the physiochemical properties that help to maintain physiological function at low ψ. Overall, differences in the capacity to regulate ψπ are among many functional adaptations that enable growth and productivity of trees across a wide range of environments.


Tree Species Relative Water Content Osmotic Potential Osmotic Adjustment Osmotic Regulation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Agriculture and EnvironmentUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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