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Protocol for cavitation measurement

Estimating the degree of cavitation and embolism in small tree organs like secondary roots, small twigs or petioles, is not possible wit conventional methods, based on hydraulic conductivity measurements. A new technique was therefore developed, using following steps:
- Pressurize the given organ in a pressure chamber under the target pressure;
- Rapidly freeze the sample in liquid nitrogen;
- Observe and count the number of empty vessels in cross sections of these organs with a variable pressure electron microscope.

This procedure has proven very efficient and has been calibrated against traditional technique, yielding a perfect calibration. It was already successfully applied to study the vulnerability to cavitation in a range of organs of several poplar species.

Informations connexes

Reported by

INRA, UMR547 PIAF, Domaine de Crouelle
63100 Clermont-Ferrand