Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1492
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1492
 
02 Jan 2023
02 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Dye tracer aided investigation of xylem water transport velocity distributions

Stefan Seeger1,2 and Markus Weiler2 Stefan Seeger and Markus Weiler
  • 1Soil Physics, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Göttingen
  • 2Hydrology, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg

Abstract. A vast majority of studies investigating the source depths in the soil of root water uptake with the help of water stable isotopes implicitly assumes that the isotopic signatures of root water uptake and xylem water are identical. In this study we show that this basic assumption is not necessarily valid, since water transport between the root tips and an observed point above the root zone is not instantaneous. However, to our knowledge no study has yet tried to explicitly assess the distribution of water transport velocities within the xylem. With a dye tracer experiment we could visualize how the transport of water through the xylem happens at a wide range of velocities which are distributed unequally throughout the xylem. In an additional virtual experiment we could show that, due to the unequal distribution of transport velocities throughout the xylem, different sampling approaches of water stable isotopes might effectively lead to xylem water samples with different underlying age distributions.

Stefan Seeger and Markus Weiler

Status: open (until 27 Feb 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1492', Hongxiu Wang, 04 Jan 2023 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Stefan Seeger, 04 Jan 2023 reply
      • CC2: 'Reply on AC1', Hongxiu Wang, 04 Jan 2023 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1492', James Knighton, 12 Jan 2023 reply

Stefan Seeger and Markus Weiler

Stefan Seeger and Markus Weiler

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Short summary
This study proposes a low-budget method to visualize the radial distribution of water transport velocities within trees at a high spatial resolution. We observed a wide spread of water transport velocities within a tree stem section, which were on average three times faster than the flux velocity. The distribution of transport velocities has implications for studies that use water isotopic signatures to study root water uptake processes and usually assume uniform or even infinite velocities.