Why do trees decline or dieback after a strong wind? Water status of Hinoki cypress standing after a typhoon

Tree Physiol. 2004 Jun;24(6):701-6. doi: 10.1093/treephys/24.6.701.

Abstract

We examined the water status of Hinoki cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa (Siebold & Zucc.) Endl., trees after a severe typhoon to determine possible causes of the decline and dieback that can occur in what appear, at first, to be healthy trees in typhoon-damaged forest stands. We found that in apparently healthy trees in a storm-damaged stand, the water conducting area of the trunk cross section was greatly reduced compared with that of similarly sized trees in a nearby undamaged stand. Although leaf specific hydraulic resistance (Wl) from soil to leaf and from trunk to leaf was higher in trees from the storm-damaged than the undamaged stand, Wl values from soil to root were similar. Diurnal patterns in the rates of change in trunk diameter differed between trees in the damaged and the undamaged stand. We conclude that increased aboveground hydraulic resistance caused by a reduction in trunk water conducting area could be a major reason for the decline and dieback of apparently healthy trees in typhoon-damaged stands.

MeSH terms

  • Chamaecyparis / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Stems / physiology
  • Plant Transpiration / physiology
  • Trees / physiology*
  • Water / physiology
  • Wind*

Substances

  • Water