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70 Transpiration and Root Water Uptake

Part 6. Soils

  1. Peter de Willigen1,
  2. Marius Heinen1,
  3. Mary Beth Kirkham2

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa074

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

de Willigen, P., Heinen, M. and Kirkham, M. B. 2006. Transpiration and Root Water Uptake. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 6:70.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Alterra, Wageningen, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    Kansas State University, Department of Agronomy, Manhattan, KS, US

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Root water uptake is one of the major components of the water balance of a soil. In this article, both the physical as well as the physiological aspects of root water uptake and transpiration are dealt with. The regulation of transpiration by different mechanisms on different levels (e.g. through hormones, adaptation of vessel diameter, root radius, and vertical extension of the root system) is discussed. Attention is paid to the modeling of water uptake by single roots and root systems. The last section deals with the different techniques used to measure root water uptake, for example, lysimeter, sap flow, inverse modeling, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods.


  • hormones;
  • aquaporins;
  • hydraulic lift;
  • model;
  • sap flow;
  • methods of measurement;
  • hydraulic head;
  • resistance;
  • rhizosphere