Browsing by Subject "winter embolism"

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  • Lintunen, Anna; Lindfors, Lauri; Kolari, Pasi; Juurola, Eija; Nikinmaa, Eero; Hölttä, Tuomo (2014)
  • Lintunen, Anna Matilda; Mayr, Stefan; Salmon, Yann Louis Baptiste; Cochard, Hervé; Hölttä, Teemu Samuli (2018)
    It is not well understood what determines the degree of supercooling of apoplastic sap in trees, although it determines the number and duration of annual freeze–thaw cycles in a given environment. We studied the linkage between apoplastic ice nucleation temperature, tree water status, and conduit size. We used branches of 10 gymnosperms and 16 angiosperms collected from an arboretum in Helsinki (Finland) in winter and spring. Branches with lower relative water content froze at lower temperatures, and branch water content was lower in winter than in spring. A bench drying experiment with Picea abies confirmed that decreasing branch water potential decreases apoplastic ice nucleation temperature. The studied angiosperms froze on average 2.0 and 1.8°C closer to zero Celsius than the studied gymnosperms during winter and spring, respectively. This was caused by higher relative water content in angiosperms; when branches were saturated with water, apoplastic ice nucleation temperature of gymnosperms increased to slightly higher temperature than that of angiosperms. Apoplastic ice nucleation temperature in sampled branches was positively correlated with xylem conduit diameter as shown before, but saturating the branches removed the correlation. Decrease in ice nucleation temperature decreased the duration of freezing, which could have an effect on winter embolism formation via the time available for gas escape during ice propagation. The apoplastic ice nucleation temperature varied not only between branches but also within a branch between consecutive freeze–thaw cycles demonstrating the stochastic nature of ice nucleation.
  • Lintunen, Anna; Losso, Adriano; Aalto, Juho; Chan, Tommy; Hölttä, Teemu; Mayr, Stefan (2020)
    Ice formation and propagation in the xylem of plants is a complex process. During freezing of xylem sap, gases dissolved in liquid sap are forced out of the ice lattice due to their low solubility in ice, and supersaturation of xylem sap as well as low water potential (Psi) are induced at the ice-liquid interface. Supersaturation of gases near the ice front may lead to bubble formation and potentially to cavitation and/or to burst of gases driven out from the branch. In this study, we investigated the origin and dynamics of freezing-related gas bursts and ultrasonic acoustic emissions (AEs), which are suggested to indicate cavitation. Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. and Salix caprea L. branch segments were exposed to frost cycles in a temperature test chamber, and CO2 efflux (indicating gas bursts) and AEs were recorded. On freezing, two-thirds of the observed gas bursts originated from the xylem and only one-third from the bark. Simultaneously with gas bursts, AEs were detected. Branch Psi affected both gas bursts and AEs, with high gas burst in saturated and dry samples but relevant AEs only in the latter. Repeated frost cycles led to decreasing gas burst volumes and AE activity. Experiments revealed that the expanding ice front in freezing xylem was responsible for observed gas bursts and AEs, and that branch Psi influenced both processes. Results also indicated that gas bursts and cavitation are independently induced by ice formation, though both may be relevant for bubble dynamics during freezing.