Saturday, September 30, 2023

Constraints to transpiration in a simple (but not too simple) model of transpiration

In our collaborative work with Concetta D'Amato  for the WATERSTEM project, we encountered the initial constraint of transpiration imposed by the hydraulic conductance of the stem-root system. Through our research, inspired by Manzoni et al. [2013], we discovered that the sigmoidal form of conductivity leads to an optimum for transpiration. We attempted to reproduce this phenomenon using the data provided by Kroeber et al. [2-13]. After considerable effort, we successfully generated the gray curve in the Figure, which exhibits a peak just before -4 MPa and enables too high transpiration.

However, we realized that the soil resistance was missing from our analysis. To address this, we incorporated the conductivity of a Silt Loam soil using the van Genuchten Mualem parameterization. The resulting brownish curves serve as evidence that the soil plays a crucial role, as anticipated by Carminati and Javaux [2020]. It is important to note that these curves depict the limits imposed by the soil and stem, which determine the potential sapflow rates, but do not reflect the constraints imposed by plant physiology. To account for plant physiology, we introduced the stomatal resistance, represented by the three dashed curves under different working hypotheses whose parameterization was taken from Daly et al. [2004]. The red points in the Figure represent the plant's working points (although the coupling with the atmospheric boundary layer is not depicted). One notable aspect of the Figure is that at typical soil suctions, the sapflow curves appear relatively flat, and the working points result in relatively constant sapflow despite variations in xylem/leaves pressure. The complete story will soon be available in Concetta's Ph.D. thesis, and the detailed process of creating the Figure can be found in its supplemental material notebooks.


Carminati, Andrea, and Mathieu Javaux. 2020. “Soil Rather Than Xylem Vulnerability Controls Stomatal Response to Drought.” Trends in Plant Science 25 (9): 868–80.

Daly, Edoardo, Amilcare Porporato, and Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe. 2004. “Coupled Dynamics of Photosynthesis, Transpiration, and Soil Water Balance. Part I: Upscaling from Hourly to Daily Level.” Journal of Hydrometeorology 5 (3): 546–58.<0546:cdopta>;2.

Kröber, Wenzel, Shouren Zhang, Merten Ehmig, and Helge Bruelheide. 2014. “Linking Xylem Hydraulic Conductivity and Vulnerability to the Leaf Economics Spectrum—A Cross-Species Study of 39 Evergreen and Deciduous Broadleaved Subtropical Tree Species.” PloS One 9 (11): e109211.

Manzoni, Stefano, Giulia Vico, Gabriel Katul, Sari Palmroth, Robert B. Jackson, and Amilcare Porporato. 2013. “Hydraulic Limits on Maximum Plant Transpiration and the Emergence of the Safety-Efficiency Trade-Off.” The New Phytologist 198 (1): 169–78.

No comments:

Post a Comment