Journal Article

Vertical and horizontal water redistribution in Norway spruce (<i>Picea abies</i>) roots in the Moravian Upland

Nadezhda Nadezhdina, Jan Čermák, Jan Gašpárek, Valeriy Nadezhdin and Alois Prax

in Tree Physiology

Volume 26, issue 10, pages 1277-1288
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Vertical and horizontal water redistribution in Norway spruce (Picea abies) roots in the Moravian Upland

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Hydraulic redistribution (HR) by roots of large Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) trees was investigated by means of sap flow measurements made with the heat field deformation method. Irrigation was applied to a limited portion of the root system to steepen gradients of water potential in the soil and thus enhance rates of HR. On completion of the sap flow measurements, and to aid in their interpretation, the structure of the root system of seven of the investigated trees was exposed to a depth of 30 cm with a supersonic air-stream (air-spade). Before irrigation, vertical redistribution of water was observed in large coarse roots and some adjacent small lateral roots. Immediately after localized irrigation, horizontal redistribution of water from watered roots to dry roots via the stem base was demonstrated. The amount of horizontal distribution depended on the position of the receiving roots relative to the watered roots and the absorbing area of the watered root. No redistribution from watered roots via dry soil to roots of neighboring trees was detected. Responses of sap flow to localized irrigation were more pronounced in small lateral roots than in large branching roots where release and uptake of water are integrated. Sap flow measurements with multi-point sensors along radii in large lateral roots demonstrated water extraction from different soil horizons. We conclude that synchronous measurements of sap flow in both small and large lateral roots are needed to study water absorption and transport in tree root systems.

Keywords: heat field deformation method; lateral roots; localized irrigation; multi-point sensors; sap flow; single-point sensors; supersonic air-spade

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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