Journal Article

Effects of ring-porous and diffuse-porous stem wood anatomy on the hydraulic parameters used in a water flow and storage model

Kathy Steppe and Raoul Lemeur

in Tree Physiology

Volume 27, issue 1, pages 43-52
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Effects of ring-porous and diffuse-porous stem wood anatomy on the hydraulic parameters used in a water flow and storage model

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Calibration of a recently developed water flow and storage model based on experimental data for a young diffuse-porous beech tree (Fagus sylvatica L.) and a young ring-porous oak tree (Quercus robur L.) revealed that differences in stem wood anatomy between species strongly affect the calibrated values of the hydraulic model parameters. The hydraulic capacitance (C) of the stem storage tissue was higher in oak than in beech (939.8 versus 212.3 mg MPa−1). Model simulation of the elastic modulus (ε) revealed that this difference was linked to the higher elasticity of the stem storage tissue of oak compared with beech. Furthermore, the hydraulic resistance (Rx) of beech was about twice that of oak (0.1829 versus 0.1072 MPa s mg−1). To determine the physiological meaning of the Rx parameter identified by model calibration, we analyzed the stem wood anatomy of the beech and oak trees. Calculation of stem specific hydraulic conductivity (ks) of beech and oak with the Hagen-Poiseuille equation confirmed the differences in Rx predicted by the model. The contributions of different vessel diameter classes to the total hydraulic conductivity of the xylem were calculated. As expected, the few big vessels contributed much more to total conductivity than the many small vessels. Compared with beech, the larger vessels of oak resulted in a higher ks (10.66 versus 4.90 kg m−1 s−1 MPa−1). The calculated ratio of ks of oak to beech was 2, confirming the Rx ratio obtained by model calibration. Thus, validation of the Rx parameter of the model led to identification of its physiological meaning.

Keywords: elasticity; Fagus sylvatica; Hagen-Poiseuille equation; hydraulic capacitance; hydraulic conductivity; hydraulic resistance; microCT; Quercus robur; sap flow; stem specific hydraulic conductivity; X-ray computed microtomography

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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