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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 6, p. 833-837
    Received: Mar 23, 1973
    Accepted: July 26, 1973

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Water Transport Through Plant Tissues in the Presence of a Diffusable Solute1

  1. Fred J. Molz and
  2. George M. Hornberger2



Because water transport through soils and plants are closely related and interdependent phenomena, it is logical to attempt to develop a quantitative description of water flow in the plant portion of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum comparable to that which exists for the soil portion. The present paper utilizes the theory of nonequilibrium thermodynamics to develop a quantitative description of water transport through aggregations of plant cells containing both permeating and nonpermeating solutes in aqueous solution. Application of the theory results in two linear, coupled, partial differential equations with a water potential-related term and the diffusable solute concentration as dependent variables. As the permeability of the diffusable solute approaches zero, the system of equations reduces to a single equation first derived by Philip (1958d), wherein the dependent variable is water potential. Using the Crank-Nicolson method, the one-dimensional forms of the equations are solved numerically for the case of a fully turgid tissue placed in a solution of diffusable solute at time zero. The solution shows that the resulting transport process is entirely different from the classical case in which the cell membranes are permeable to water only.

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