Seasonal and diel variation in xylem CO2 concentration and sap pH in sub-Mediterranean oak stems.
The efflux of sugars from parenchyma cells into the apoplast has been studied in the wood of Populus × canadensis “robusta” in relation to the sugar level of the tissue and the sugar content of the tracheal sap during all physiological stages of the year. In poplar, the spring maximum in sugar content of the tracheal sap is clearly not the result of continuous exosmosis during winter but is reached within a short period in spring. The seasonal patterns of starch and sugar content of the wood and of the sugar content of the tracheal sap are described. The efflux of sugars from tissue sections changes drastically over the year, i.e., from 0.3 to 8.3 μg mg−1DWT day−1. In general, it is high in fall and winter, and low during late spring and summer. However, high tissue sugar levels proved not always to be correlated with high efflux rates or with high sugar levels in the tracheal sap, indicating that the intracellular compartmentalization of sugars, their passive and catalysed release into, and their re-uptake from the apoplast are all essentially involved in determining the actual sugar content of the sap. Sucrose, which is the dominant sugar in the tracheal sap during winter (pH 7.0–7.5) and in the efflux experiments at pH 7.5, in contrast to the hexoses which prevail in the spring sap (pH around 5.5) and also in the efflux experiments at pH 5.6, is considered to be preferentially released in poplar and to become extraplasmatically hydrolysed. The reasons for tree-specific differences are discussed.