Advertisement

Water uptake by plants: perspectives from stable isotope composition

Authors

  • J. R. EHLERINGER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Stable Isotope Ratio Facility for Environmental Research, Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
      Dr Jim Ehleringer, Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • T. E. DAWSON

    1. Section of Ecology and Systematics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Dr Jim Ehleringer, Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.

ABSTRACT

Stable isotope studies of hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope ratios of water within plants are providing new information on water sources, competitive interactions and water use patterns under natural conditions. Variation in the utilization of summer rain by aridland species and limited use of stream water by mature riparian trees are two examples of how stable isotope studies have modified our understanding of plant water relations. Analyses of xylem sap and tree rings have the potential of providing both short-term and long-term information on plant water use patterns.

Ancillary