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Water use and carbon acquisition were examined in a northern Utah population of Juniperus osteosperma (Torr.) Little. Leaf-level carbon assimilation, which was greatest in the spring and autumn, was limited by soil water availability. Gas exchange, plant water potential and tissue hydrogen stable isotopic ratio (deltaD) data suggested that plants responded rapidly to summer rain events. Based on a leaf area index of 1.4, leaf-level water use and carbon acquisition scaled to canopy-level means of 0.59 mm day(-1) and 0.13 mol m(-2) ground surface day(-1), respectively. Patterns of soil water potential indicated that J. osteosperma dries the soil from the surface downward to a depth of about 1 m. Hydraulic redistribution...
Water conservation is important for plants that maintain physiologically active foliage during prolonged periods of drought. A variety of mechanisms for water conservation exist including stomatal regulation, foliage loss, above- and below-ground allocation patterns, size of xylem vessels and leaf pubescence. Using the results of a field and simulation study with Artemisia tridentata in the Great Basin, USA, we propose an additional mechanism of water conservation that can be used by plants in arid and semi-arid environments following pulses of water availability. Precipitation redistributed more uniformly in the soil column by roots (hydraulic redistribution of water downward) slows the rate at which this water...

    map background search result map search result map Water conservation in Artemisia tridentata through redistribution of precipitation Carbon acquisition and water use in a Northern Utah Juniperus osteosperma (Utah juniper) population.