The water balance of an ecosystem is largely influenced by the water balance of the corresponding plants, while in turn this plant water balance is influenced by the ecosystem itself. An understanding of these interaction processes therefore forms the basis for water balance examinations and for studies of plant physiology.
Sensors measuring sap flow record the transportation of water in stems or branches. The aim of today’s technology is to cause as little damage to the plant as possible and ideally none at all and to influence the transportation process as little as possible. The water potential of the plants can be determined both on woody parts and on leaf samples using psychrometers.
It is possible using this method to determine sap flows in trunks, stalks and roots of various types and sizes of plants under different ecological conditions, right through to drought.