Compared with stem water storage, leaf water storage is understudied although it may be important for alleviating water stress by contributing quickly and directly to transpiration demand. To quantify the relative contribution of stem versus leaf water storage to daily water deficit, we measured diurnal changes in transpiration rate, sap-flow velocity and stem radius of 10-yearold Cryptomeria japonica D. Don trees. We assumed that the duration of time lags between transpiration rate and sap-flow velocity reflected stored water in the stem and leaf, and that stem volume change represented water content of elastic tissue. The relationship between fresh mass and water potential of the whole tree indicated that the study trees had capacity to store, on average, 91.4 ml of water per kg fresh mass at turgor loss. Leaves, sapwood and elastic tissue contributed around 51%, 29% and 20% of stored water, respectively. During morning, transpiration rates were higher than sap-flow velocity suggesting depletion of stored water. During the first 2 h after onset of transpiration, stored water contributed more than 100% of wholetree transpiration. Depletion of leaf water (PLeaf) and sapwood water (PSap) coincided with the onset of transpiration and became maximum around 15:00 h. Depletion of elastic tissue water (PElastic) lagged behind that of PLeaf and PSap by 1-2 h, indicating that replenishment of stored water occurs late in the day when low leaf water potentials resulting from daytime transpiration drive water uptake. Maximum depletion of PLeaf was about 1-3 times and 5-10 times that of PSap and PElastic, respectively. The contribution of PLeaf to total daily transpiration was 5-8%, while those of PSap and PElastic were 3-4% and 0.7-1%, respectively. Our results suggest the importance of leaf water storage in maintaining daily transpiration in young C. japonica trees.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science