Black, M.Z., Patterson, K.J., Minchin, P.E.H., Gould, K.S., Clearwater, M.J. & Meinzer, F. (2011). Hydraulic responses of whole vines and individual roots of kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) following root severance. Tree Physiol, 31(5), 508-518.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5502
Whole vine (Kplant) and individual root (Kroot) hydraulic conductances were measured in kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis Planch. var. chinensis ‘Hort16A’) vines to observe hydraulic responses following partial root system excision. Heat dissipation and compensation heat pulse techniques were used to measure sap flow in trunks and individual roots, respectively. Sap flux and measurements of xylem pressure potential (Ψ) were used to calculate Kplant and Kroot in vines with zero and ∼80% of roots severed. Whole vine transpiration (E), Ψ and Kplant were significantly reduced within 24 h of root pruning, and did not recover within 6 weeks. Sap flux in intact roots increased within 24 h of root pruning, driven by an increase in the pressure gradient between the soil and canopy and without any change in root hydraulic conductance. Photosynthesis (A) and stomatal conductance (gs) were reduced, without significant effects on leaf internal CO2 concentration (ci). Shoot growth rates were maintained; fruit growth and dry matter content were increased following pruning. The woody roots of kiwifruit did not demonstrate a rapid dynamic response to root system damage as has been observed previously in monocot seedlings. Increased sap flux in intact roots with no change in Kroot and only a moderate decline in shoot A suggests that under normal growing conditions root hydraulic conductance greatly exceeds requirements for adequate shoot hydration.
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