MadSci Network: Botany

Re: Does water temperature affect the water up take of celery stalks?

Date: Fri Apr 2 20:03:09 2004
Posted By: David Hershey, Faculty, Botany, NA
Area of science: Botany
ID: 1080855246.Bt

I would not expect water temperature to have a major effect on water uptake by 
a celery stalk unless you went to extremes. If the water temperature is below 
freezing (0 degrees C) and the water freezes solid, it would obviously prevent 
water uptake. 

The xylem vessels through which water flows in the celery stalk or petiole are 
dead. Water flow through the xylem vessels is driven by evaporation from the 
leaf blade stomata. This is termed transpiration. It seems unlikely that hot 
water in the container would be able to damage the living cells in the celery 
leaf blades because the upward flow is slow enough that the water would cool 
before it reached the leaf blades. 

The living cells in the part of the celery stalk in the container could be 
damaged or killed by a high water temperature. That might have indirect 
effects on water uptake if the contents of the dead cells clogged the xylem. 
Cut flower stems are often clogged by growth of microbes in the vase water.

An increase in air temperature will probably increase transpiration. 

You may be confusing temperature effects on celery stalk transpiration with 
the common concept of Q10. The Q10 is the factor that the rate of a chemical 
reaction increases for every 10 degree Celsius rise in temperature. The Q10 
usually ranges from 2 to 5. Water flow in xylem is not a chemical reaction so 
Q10 does not apply.


Celery Stalk Transpiration

Transporation of Water in Plants


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