Transpiration-induced axial and radial tension gradients in trunks of Douglas-fir trees Public Deposited

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  • We determined the axial and radial xylem tension gradients in trunks of young Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) trees. Axial specific conductivity (ks-a) and sap flux density (Js) were measured at four consecutive depths within the sapwood at a stem height of 1 m. By definition, at a given position in the bole, Js is a function not only of ks-a but also of the driving force forwatermovement. The Js:ks-a ratio was therefore used to estimate axial tension gradients and the radial gradients at a stem height of 1 m were calculated from the differences in axial tension gradients at each depth. Tracheid lumen diameter and tracheid length were used to predict differences in ks-a and its divergence from the theoretical ks-a determined by the Hagen Poisseuille equation. The ratio of ks-a (determined in the laboratory) to Js (measured in the field) varied with depth in the sapwood, resulting in non-uniform axial and radial tension gradients from inner to outer sapwood. Transpiration-induced axial tension gradients were in the range of 0.006−0.01 MPa m–1 excluding the gravitational tension gradient. At a stem height of 1 m, radial tension gradients were in the range of 0.15–0.25 MPam–1 and were lower in the middle sapwood than in the inner or outer sapwood. Axial tension gradients were 44–50% higher in the outer sapwood than in the inner sapwood. At a stem height of 1 m, radial Js, calculated on the basis of radial tension gradients and measured radial specific conductivity (ks-r),was about two orders of magnitude smaller than axial Js. Our findings indicate that large radial tension gradients occur in the sapwood and clarify the role played by xylem ks-a and ks-r in determining in situ partitioning of Js in the axial and radial directions.
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  • Domec, J.-C., F. C. Meinzer, B. L. Gartner, and D. Woodruff. 2006. Transpiration –induced axial and radial tension gradients in trunks of Douglas-fir trees. Tree Physiology 26: 275-284
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-09-29T15:05:57Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Domec_06_TreePhys_AxRadTension_PNW.pdf: 1258125 bytes, checksum: 8924cd361f77a39fbc8db381339296a7 (MD5)
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