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A method to determine plant water source using transpired water

Menchaca, L. B.; Smith, B. M.; Connolly, J.; Conrad, M.; Emmett, B.. 2007 A method to determine plant water source using transpired water. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 4 (2). 863-880.

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Abstract/Summary

A method to determine the stable isotope ratio of a plant's water source using the plant's transpired water is proposed as an alternative to standard xylem extraction methods. The method consists of periodically sampling transpired waters from shoots or leaves enclosed in sealed, transparent bags which create a saturated environment, preclude further evaporation and allow the progressive mixing of evaporated transpired water and un-evaporated xylem water. The method was applied on trees and shrubs coexisting in a non-irrigated area where stable isotope ratios of local environmental waters are well characterized. The results show Eucalyptus globulus (tree) and Genista monspessulana (shrub) using water sources of different isotopic ratios congruent with groundwater and soil water respectively. In addition, tritium concentrations indicate that pine trees (Pinus sylvestris) switch water source from soil water in the winter to groundwater in the summer. The method proposed is particularly useful in remote or protected areas and in large scale studies related to water management, environmental compliance and surveillance, because it eliminates the need for destructive sampling and greatly reduces costs associated with laboratory extraction of xylem waters from plant tissues for isotopic analyses.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
CEH Sections: Emmett
ISSN: 1812-2108
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Click on the Official URL to access freely available full text. Note - a final paper was not published.
NORA Subject Terms: Botany
Agriculture and Soil Science
Chemistry
Date made live: 04 Jan 2008 14:27
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/1780

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