Stable isotopes for the study of plant water uptake: a focus on plant interactions (or not)

Ferrio Díaz, Juan Pedro

About 500 My ago, the major challenge faced by the first terrestrial plant was the
acquisition of water resources. Nowadays, water availability is still one of the main
environmental factors shaping the evolution of terrestrial plants. Hence, the study of
the ability of different plant species to extract water from the soil is crucial to
understand terrestrial ecosystems. However, the assessment of root distribution and
activity relies mainly on destructive and labour-intensive methods, which are not the
most suitable to understand temporal dynamics of water uptake. In this context, in the
last decades the use of stable isotopes as hydrological tracers has emerged as a
powerful tool to determine the source of water used by terrestrial plants. In this talk I
will describe the basics for the use of hydrogen and oxygen isotope composition in
ecohydrology, with examples of application to solve ecological questions.

Conference type: 
Activity or seminar: 
Biofórum 2018 - Palestras em Ecologia
Organizing entity: 
UNICAMP - Instituto de Biologia
UNICAMP-Universidade Estaudal de Campinas, Campinas (Brasil)