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Plant Physiol. 1983 Aug;72(4):1094-9.

Cavitation Events in Thuja occidentalis L.? : Utrasonic Acoustic Emissions from the Sapwood Can Be Measured.

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  • 1Department of Botany, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada M5S 1A1.


Ultrasonic acoustic emissions (AE) in the frequency range of 0.1 to 1 megahertz appear to originate in the sapwood of Thuja occidentalis L. The AE are vibrations of an impulsive nature. The vibrations can be transduced to a voltage waveform and amplified. The vibrations of each AE event begin at a large amplitude which decays over 20 to 100 microseconds. Strong circumstantial evidence indicates that the ultrasonic AE result from cavitation events because: (a) they occur only when the xylem pressure potential Psi(xp) is more negative than a threshold level of about -1 megapascal; (b) the rate of AE events increases as Psi(xp) decreases and when the net rate of water loss increases; (c) the AE can be stopped by raising Psi(xp) above -1 megapascal. Ultrasonic AE have been measured in whole terminal shoots allowed to dry in the laboratory, in isolated pieces of sapwood as they dried in the laboratory, and in whole terminal shoots in a pressure bomb when Psi(xp) was decreased by lowering the gas pressure in the pressure bomb.

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