Research note

Analysis of Stable Isotopes of Xylem Water from Plantation Trees in E. Transvaal and Zululand Indicate they Utilised Ground water During Drought of 1992

Published in: South African Forestry Journal
Volume 170, issue 1, 1994 , pages: 33–36
DOI: 10.1080/00382167.1994.9629672
Author(s): J.J. Midgley, South Africa, S. Talma, South Africa, D. Scott, South Africa, B. Olbrich, South Africa, G.F. van Wyk, South Africa


We investigated the stable isotopic signature of xylem sap of mature plantation trees and the associated ground water at sites in Zululand and E. Transvaal. The survey took place mainly during the drought of 1992. Results indicated a range of plant isotopic signatures. In many instances a great similarity existed between tree water and ground water in terms of isotopic content. This suggests that plantation trees utilised ground water during drought.

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