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ERIC Number: EJ976790
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Tree Hydraulics: How Sap Rises
Denny, Mark
European Journal of Physics, v33 n1 p43-53 Jan 2012
Trees transport water from roots to crown--a height that can exceed 100 m. The physics of tree hydraulics can be conveyed with simple fluid dynamics based upon the Hagen-Poiseuille equation and Murray's law. Here the conduit structure is modelled as conical pipes and as branching pipes. The force required to lift sap is generated mostly by transpiration or capillary action; we investigate the effectiveness of both these forces for the two conduit architectures considered. The level of analysis is appropriate for undergraduates. The subject is of broad interest because it provides a naturally-occurring example of an unusual metastable state of matter: liquid under tension. (Contains 3 figures, 2 footnotes and 1 table.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A