iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Diurnal dynamics of water transport, storage and hydraulic conductivity in pine trees under seasonal drought

Tamir Klein (1-2)   , Shabtai Cohen (2), Indira Paudel (2-3), Yakir Preisler (1-3), Eyal Rotenberg (1), Dan Yakir (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 5, Pages 710-719 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2046-009
Published: Aug 21, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

The temporal dynamics of water transport and storage in plants have major implications for plant functioning and survival. In trees, stress on the conductive tissue can be moderated by water storage. Yet, trees can survive high percent loss of conductivity (PLC, up to 80%), suggesting efficient recovery. We assess the role of tree water storage and PLC recovery based on simultaneous measurements of leaf transpiration, branch hydraulic conductivity, and stem sap-flow from different seasons in three study years in mature Pinus halepensis (Miller) trees in a semi-arid forest. During the wet season the rates of transpiration (T) and sap flow (SF) peaked at high morning and through the mid-day. During the dry season T peaked at ~9:00 and then decreased, whereas SF lagged T and fully compensated for it only in the evening, resulting in a mid-day water deficit of ~5 kg tree-1, and with up to 33% of daily T derived from storage. PLC of 30-40% developed during mid-day and subsequently recovered to near zero within 2-3 hr in the dry season (May, June, and September), but not in the wet season (January). The observed temporal decoupling between leaf water loss and soil water recharge is consistent with optimization of the trees’ water and gas exchange economy, while apparently facilitating their survival in the semi-arid conditions.


Cavitation Reversal, Sap Flow, Semi-arid, Water Deficit, Xylem Embolism.

Authors’ address

Tamir Klein
Yakir Preisler
Eyal Rotenberg
Dan Yakir
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100 (Israel)
Tamir Klein
Shabtai Cohen
Indira Paudel
Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, ARO Volcani Center, Beit Dagan 50250 (Israel)
Indira Paudel
Yakir Preisler
Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot (Israel)

Corresponding author


Klein T, Cohen S, Paudel I, Preisler Y, Rotenberg E, Yakir D (2016). Diurnal dynamics of water transport, storage and hydraulic conductivity in pine trees under seasonal drought. iForest 9: 710-719. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2046-009

Academic Editor

Silvano Fares

Paper history

Received: Mar 08, 2016
Accepted: Jul 19, 2016

First online: Aug 21, 2016
Publication Date: Oct 13, 2016
Publication Time: 1.10 months

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