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Response of the water status of soybean to changes in soil water potentials controlled by the water pressure in microporous tubesWater transport through a microporous tube-soil-plant system was investigated by measuring the response of soil and plant water status to step change reductions in the water pressure within the tubes. Soybeans were germinated and grown in a porous ceramic 'soil' at a porous tube water pressure of -0.5 kpa for 28 d. During this time, the soil matric potential was nearly in equilibrium with tube water pressure. Water pressure in the porous tubes was then reduced to either -1.0, -1.5 or -2.0 kPa. Sap flow rates, leaf conductance and soil, root and leaf water potentials were measured before and after this change. A reduction in porous tube water pressure from -0.5 to -1.0 or -1.5 kPa did not result in any significant change in soil or plant water status. A reduction in porous tube water pressure to -2.0 kPa resulted in significant reductions in sap flow, leaf conductance, and soil, root and leaf water potentials. Hydraulic conductance, calculated as the transpiration rate/delta psi between two points in the water transport pathway, was used to analyse water transport through the tube-soil-plant continuum. At porous tube water pressures of -0.5 to-1.5 kPa soil moisture was readily available and hydraulic conductance of the plant limited water transport. At -2.0 kPa, hydraulic conductance of the bulk soil was the dominant factor in water movement.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Steinberg, S. L. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston TX United States)
Henninger, D. L.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1997
Publication Information
Publication: Plant, cell & environment
Volume: 20
Issue: 12
ISSN: 0140-7791
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Life Support Systems