The relationship between stable oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios of water in astomatal plants

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Edited by: H. P. Taylor Jr.J. R. O'Neil, and I.R. Kaplan


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Isotropic fractination of leaf water during transpiration is influenced by both equilibrium and kinetic factors. Previous workers have predicted that the influence of each factor varies depending upon the path of water loss,m whether centralized through stomata, or diffuse through the cuticle. We studied the relationship between the δD and δ18O values of lead and stem waters of laurel sumac, Rhus laurina (Nutt.) T. & G., and its parasite, dodder, Cuscuta subinclusa D. & H., growing in the field. Stomatal transpiration, associated with more stagnant boundary layers, predominates in R. laurina; cuticular transpiration, associated with more turbulent boundary layers, is most important in the largely astomatal C. subinclusa. We also studied the diurnal variation in the δD and δ18O values of lead waters of two astomatal plants, Chiloschista lunifera (Rchb. F.) J.J.S. and Stylites andicola Amstutz, and two stomatal plants, Tillandsia balbisiana Schult. and Lilaeopsis schaffneriana (Schlecht.) C. & R., growing with them under the same conditions in the laboratory. Slopes, m, for the relation δD = mδ18O + b were significantly higher for stem waters in C. subinclusa that for leaf waters in R. laurina (1.77), consistent with the difference in the boundary layers through which water was lost in the two species. The magnitude of diurnal heavy isotope enrichment of tissue water was smaller in C. subinclusa than in R. laurina, which is also consistent with predictions concerning evapotranspiration through difference types of boundary layers. The slopes, m, in plant waters in the laboratory experiments, conducted at high humidity, were not different than those observed during evaporation of water from pans, regardless of plant anatomy. The observation suggests that cuticular transpiration is important in influencing isotopic fractionation of water only at low humidity. Our results indicate that the isotopic composition of water vapor released by plants in arid regions may be influenced by the relative proportions of stomatal versus cuticular transpiration.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title The relationship between stable oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios of water in astomatal plants
Year Published 1991
Language English
Publisher Geochemical Society
Publisher location St. Louis, MO
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description p. 247-255
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Stable Isotope Geochemistry: A Tribute to Samuel Epstein.
First page 247
Last page 255
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