Evaporation and environment

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Monteith, J. L. 1965. Evaporation and environment. Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology. 19, pp. 205-234.

AuthorsMonteith, J. L.

A turgid leaf exposed to bright sunshine can transpire an amount of water several times its own weight during a summer day. Rapid evaporation is sustained by a supply of heat from the atmosphere and by a movement of water within the plant preventing the desiccation of leaf tissue. In analysis, the need for energy and the need for water have often been disassociated. Meteorologists investigating the energetics of transpiration have assumed that leaves behave like pieces of wet, green blotting paper, and plant physiologists have demonstrated mechanisms for the conduction of water at arbitrary rates unrelated to the physics of the environment. This paper describes progress towards a reconciliation of parallel concepts in meteorology and physiology. The path for the diffusion of water vapour from leaf cells to the free atmosphere is divided into two parts, one determined primarily by the size and distribution of stomata, and the other by wind speed and the aerodynamic properties of the plant surface. Diffusive resistances for single leaves and for plant communities are established from measurements in the laboratory and in the field and are then used: (i) to predict relative rates of evaporation from leaves with wet and dry surfaces; (ii) to investigate the dependence of transpiration rate on wind speed and surface roughness; (iii) to demonstrate that the relation between transpiration rate and lead area is governed by stomatal closure in leaves well shaded from sunlight; (iv) to calculate maximum rates of transpiration for different crops and climates. A final section on the convection of dry air stresses the importance of physiological restraint on the rate of transpiration from an irrigated field surrounded by dry land.

KeywordsRRES175; Penman-Monteith equation; 175_Plant sciences
Year of Publication1965
JournalSymposia of the Society for Experimental Biology
Journal citation19, pp. 205-234
PubMed ID5321565
Open accessPublished as green open access
Publisher's version
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP) Cambridge

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