Pontacyl brilliant pink as a tracer dye in the movement of water in phreatophytes


  • T. W. Robinson,

  • Donald Donaldson


In connection with evapotranspiration studies Pontacyl Brilliant Pink, a fluorescent dye, was used to trace the movement of water in two species of woody phreatophytes, willow and wildrose. The dye was introduced into water surrounding the plant roots on August 4, 1964. Thereafter, leaf samples were collected periodically until the end of the growing season in October. Fluorometric measurements showed the presence of the dye in the leaves. Dye was also found in samples of roots and stems and in transpired water collected in plastic bags. Dye concentration was greatest in the upper part of the stems. As a tracer the dye offers a rapid method for studying the source, movement, and disposal of water used by phreatophytes. The method is rapid and inexpensive, and the laboratory determination is not difficult. The fluorometric determinations were made with a GK Turner Fluorometer Model 111, which has a sensitivity of 1 ppb.