Measuring root hydraulic parameters of container-grown herbaceous and woody plants using the hydraulic conductance flow meter

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Root hydraulic conductance and conductivity are physiological traits describing the ease with which water can move through the belowground vascular system of a plant, and are used as indicators of plant performance and adaptability to a given environment. The ability to measure hydraulic conductance of container-grown herbaceous and semiwoody plants with soft conductive tissue was tested using a hydraulic conductance flow meter (HCFM). Although the HCFM is a hydraulic apparatus that has been used on woody plants to measure hydraulic conductance of intact roots, it has never been reportedly used on container-grown horticultural plants. Two herbaceous species, Chrysanthemum L. and Solenstemon scutellarioides Thonn., were grown in containers and hydraulic parameters were measured, including root conductance and root conductivity, as well as physical traits such as stem diameter and dry root mass. The HCFM was easily connected to intact roots even on herbaceous stems and was used to determine hydraulic conductance and conductivity directly on container-grown plants with minimal disturbance on the root system. Chrysanthemums, Buddleja davidii Franch., and Hibiscus moscheutos L. were grown in three different substrates, and both root mass and root hydraulic parameters were determined. Chrysanthemums showed a positive response with increasing root hydraulic conductance with increasing root mass. The substrates used in these studies only had an effect on root biomass of chrysanthemums, but substrates had no differential effect on root hydraulic conductivity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Judd, LA; Jackson, BE; Fonteno, WC; Domec, JC

Published Date

  • February 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 51 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 192 - 196

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2327-9834

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0018-5345

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.21273/hortsci.51.2.192

Citation Source

  • Scopus