Nashi pear (Pyrus serotina Rehder, cv. Hosui) trees were planted in 12 computerized 1m-wide drainage lysimeters in September 1987. During the 1990 season tree water use was monitored via lysimeter and neutron probe readings. Diurnal leaf water relations were studied using a pressure chamber for water potential (ψ) and a porometer for leaf conductance (gs). Xylem sap trunk flow velocities were measured with an experimental heat pulse device and converted to xylem flux. Close agreement existed between 24 hr xylem flux and lysimeter water use when comparing trees with different soil water content. Xylem flux also was very sensitive to changes in evaporative demand. During 9–13 day drying cycles pre-dawn ψ became progressively lower, morning decline more rapid, and afternoon recovery slower. The diurnal gs pattern also shifted during drying cycles, such that gs of water stressed trees always decreased from time of first measurement of sunlit leaves rather than increasing during the morning as on non-stressed trees. Late afternoon was the best time to distinguish between fully irrigated and stressed trees using gs measurements.
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