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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 7(5)

Errors Arising From Rapid Water Loss in the Measurement of Leaf Water Potential by the Pressure Chamber Technique

NC Turner and MJ Long

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 7(5) 527 - 537
Published: 1980


In rapidly transpiring leaves, the water potentials of uncovered leaves measured in a pressure chamber were 0.2-0.7 MPa lower than the water potentials of leaves that were covered with a plastic sheath from just prior to their excision to the completion of the measurement. The error in the water potential of uncovered leaves arose from rapid water loss in the first 30 s after excision. The degree to which the water potentials were lowered depended on the rate of transpiration, the leaf water potential at the time of excision, the species, and whether the plants were grown in the glasshouse or field. It is suggested that the variation between species and between glasshouse-grown and field-grown plants arises from differences in water retention characteristics of plant tissue as well as to differences in the rates of transpiration at excision. The size of the error induced by the rapid water loss on diurnal changes in leaf water potential is demonstrated and the effect of the error in the calculation of turgor potentials and in the resistances to water flow through the plant is discussed.

Full text doi:10.1071/PP9800527

© CSIRO 1980

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