Effects of soil temperature on root water uptake capacity by trees

The water uptake capacity of a root varies in response to temperature, reducing it as the soil is cooled down. However, this phenomenon is usually overlooked when modelling tree transpiration. Measurements made on olive (Olea europea L.) ‘Picual’ and a hybrid rootstock, GF677, on a Mediterranean climate along three consecutive years, showed a 3.5-folds reduction for olive while for GF677 was as much as 9-folds when winter and summer values were compared. Garcia-Tejera et al. (2016) suggest that the inclusion of a function relating the temperature and the uptake capacity of the roots, like the one developed from our study for the above mentioned cultivars, would significantly improve the accuracy of the models when predicting plant transpiration.

Posted in Science briefs.