A method for inducing xylem emboli in situ: experiments with a field-grown tree

Authors

  • S. SALLEO,

    1. Botanisches lnstitut, Universität für Bodenkultur, Gregor Mendel – Sir. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
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    • *

      Istituto di Botanica, Università di Messina, C.P. 58, I-98166 Messina S. Agata, Italy.

  • T. M. HINCKLEY,

    1. Botanisches lnstitut, Universität für Bodenkultur, Gregor Mendel – Sir. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
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    • College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

  • S. B. KIKUTA,

    1. Botanisches lnstitut, Universität für Bodenkultur, Gregor Mendel – Sir. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
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  • M. A. LO GULLO,

    1. Botanisches lnstitut, Universität für Bodenkultur, Gregor Mendel – Sir. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
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    • *

      Istituto di Botanica, Università di Messina, C.P. 58, I-98166 Messina S. Agata, Italy.

  • P. WEILGONY,

    1. Botanisches lnstitut, Universität für Bodenkultur, Gregor Mendel – Sir. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
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  • T.-M. YOON,

    1. Botanisches lnstitut, Universität für Bodenkultur, Gregor Mendel – Sir. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
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    • Department of Plant Breeding, College of Natural Science, Andong National University, Andong, Kyungpook 780–380, Republic of Korea.

  • H. RICHTER

    Corresponding author
    1. Botanisches lnstitut, Universität für Bodenkultur, Gregor Mendel – Sir. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
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Hanno Richter, Botanisches Institut, Universität für Bodenkultur, Gregor Mendel – Str. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT

A pressure collar, assembled around 25cm sections of 4-year-old willow twigs, was used to examine cavitation events under field conditions. When the air pressure inside the collar was raised to between 1–8 and 2–8MPa, ultrasound acoustic emission signals were triggered which indicated the breaking of water columns in the xylem. The hydraulic conductivity of the twig portion inside the chamber decreased markedly. As a result, water potentials and conductances in leaves at the end of the twig decreased. Similar changes were induced at comparable pressures in detached twigs. The equipment used is described in detail, and evidence is presented that the mechanism of this artificial production of emboli follows the air-seeding principle hypothesized for natural cavitation events.

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