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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 16, issue 4
Ann. Geophys., 16, 470–476, 1998
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-998-0470-6
© European Geosciences Union 1998
Ann. Geophys., 16, 470–476, 1998
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-998-0470-6
© European Geosciences Union 1998

  30 Apr 1998

30 Apr 1998

The dependence of water potential in shoots of Picea abies on air and soil water status

A. Sellin A. Sellin
  • Department of Botany and Ecology, University of Tartu, Lai 40, EE 2400 Tartu, Estonia, E-mail: arne@zbi.ee

Abstract. Where there is sufficient water storage in the soil the water potential (Ψx) in shoots of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] is strongly governed by the vapour pressure deficit of the atmosphere, while the mean minimum values of Ψx usually do not drop below –1.5 MPa under meteorological conditions in Estonia. If the base water potential (Ψb) is above –0.62 MPa, the principal factor causing water deficiency in shoots of P. abies may be either limited soil water reserves or atmospheric evaporative demand depending on the current level of the vapour pressure deficit. As the soil dries the stomatal control becomes more efficient in preventing water losses from the foliage, and the leaf water status, in turn, less sensitive to atmospheric demand. Under drought conditions, if Ψb falls below –0.62 MPa, the trees' water stress is mainly caused by low soil water availability. Further declines in the shoot water potential (below –1.5 MPa) can be attributed primarily to further decreases in the soil water, i.e. to the static water stress.

Key words. Hydrology (evapotranspiration · plant ecology · soil moisture).

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