Water Storage in Conifers

Water Storage in ConifersMassive organs, such as tree stems, can store large amounts of water within the plant body. Previous studies indicated tree water reservoirs in conifers to play an important role for embolism avoidance and repair strategies. We analyse water reservoirs in several conifer species hypothesising that there are large reservoirs in the xylem, bark and needles, that stored water substantially reduces drought stress during the winter season, and that it is a prerequisite for refilling in late winter and spring. 

Research activities focus on

  • Quantification of water reservoirs in conifer axes systems
  • Correlations between water content and water potentials
  • Development of models to estimate water contents within tree crowns  
  • Estimation of water shifts within trees during winter 
  • Role of internal water reservoirs for refilling processes
  • Role of water storage for drought stress avoidance  
  • Effects of soil frost on access to water reservoirs

Austrian Science Fund (FWF), P-20852, PI: Stefan Mayr

Silvia Kikuta, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Hervé Cochard, Thierry Améglio, INRA Clermont-Ferrand, France
Andrea Nardini, University of Triest, Italy

Personnel involved
Stefan Mayr
Doris Gesierich
Birgit Dämon
Peter Schmid
Katline Charra-Vaskou

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