Submitted to: Abstract of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Water flow in plants is a passive process which occurs in response to physical forces. Empirical estimations of non-stomatal transpiration show it varying in a range from 10 to 70% of the total. The objective of this work was to use quantitative anatomy of epidermis, cuticle, cell walls, to describe liquid water transport contributing to transpiration. Cuticular resistance to water movement, which was previously considered as a single parallel link to the stomatal transpiration, has been partitioned into (1) resistance to the water movement in liquid films on the surfaces of cells and (2) resistance of the cuticle. Resistance to the transport in the films was estimated and found to be comparable with the stomatal resistance, and the cuticular resistance was about an order of magnitude higher than the stomatal. Nevertheless, since stomata occupy about 6% of the leaf surface when fully open, and the water transport, through the cuticle, occurs on about 94% of the leaf surface, cuticular transpiration was estimated as a very significant component of the total transpiration, sometimes exceeding the stomatal transpiration. The results contribute to understanding of plant drought tolerance and stress resistance.