Xylem sap flows of irrigated Tamarix elongata Ledeb and the influence of environmental factors in the desert region of Northwest China

Yanping Qu, Shaozhong Kang*, Fusheng Li, Jianhua ZHANG, Guimin Xia, Wangcheng Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Tamarix elongata Ledeb is a desert shrub found in the desert region of Northwest China and is commonly cultivated as a sand-holding plant in this region. To understand its water requirement and the effects of climate conditions on its growth, trunk xylem sap flows of irrigated 8-year-old Tamarix elongata Ledeb plants were monitored continuously with heat-pulse sap flow meters for the entire season. Soil moisture contents at 0-300 cm layer depth were also measured with a tube type time domain reflectometry (Tube-TDR). Meteorological factors, i.e. solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed were simultaneously monitored by an automatic weather station at the site. Daily and seasonal variations of the trunk sap fluxes and their correlations with the meteorological factors, reference evapotranspiration and soil moisture contents in the root-zone were analysed. The results indicated that frost influenced the trunk sap flux greatly under irrigated conditions, although the flux generally fluctuated with the variation of environmental factors and showed a mean trunk sap flux of 4.18 1 d-1. There was a significantly exponential relationship between sap flux and the reference value of crop evapotranspiration, with a correlation coefficient of R2 = 0.7172. The sap flux also had a significant correlation with the soil water contents at a depth of 150-300 cm from soil surface (R2 = 0.5014). The order of the main meteorological factors affecting the sap flux of Tamarix elongata Ledeb trees was solar radiation > air temperature > vapour pressure deficit > relative humidity > wind speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1363-1369
Number of pages7
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Water Science and Technology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Desert plants
  • Heat-pulse method
  • Tamarix elongata Ledeb
  • Xylem sap flux
  • Xylem water transport


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