Stem water storage potential in plants of the Caatinga biome

Francisco Esmayle Alves de Tilesse, Juliana Alcântara Costa, José Vidal de Figueiredo, Joaquín Navarro-Hevia, Carlos Alexandre Gomes Costa


Hydrological processes in forests are greatly infl uenced by existing plant species and their specifi c physiological
characteristics. Water consumption by these plant communities is considered important in studies of water availability and water
balance, especially in semi-arid regions. The aim of this study was to analyse water storage potential in the stems of representative
plants of the Caatinga biome. The study was carried out in a preserved area of Caatinga in the Aiuaba Experimental Basin, Ceará,
Brazil, where a phytosociological survey of the spatial distribution of wood density and stem water storage capacity was conducted.
Allometric models were developed to estimate the active xylem area. Thirteen species and eight botanical families were registered
during the fl oristic survey. The species with the highest density per hectare are the marmeleiro (Croton sonderianus Mull.) and the
catingueira (Poicianella pyramidalis Tul.), reaching 85% of the total number of inventoried species. The water content in the stem of
the catingueira is around fi ve times that of the marmeleiro; however, due to their greater occurrence in the area, the amount of water
retained in the stem of marmeleiro plants (per hectare) is around twice that of the catingueira plants. After 40 years of conservation,
the area is at a stage of secondary succession. The water potential of the species included in the survey is equal to about one fi fth of
the maximum storage capacity of the reservoir that receives all the water drained from the basin.


Caatinga. Water availability. Allometric models. Biological water. Ecohydrology.

Texto completo:

PDF (English)


APARECIDO, L. M. T. et al. Ecological applications of differences in the hydraulic efficiency of palms and broad-leaved trees. Trees-Structure and Function, v. 29, p. 1431-1445, 2015.

BAKER, T. et al. Tree and Stand Growth and Biomass Relationships for Eucalyptus urophylla nd E. 12ABL on the Leizhou Peninsula, Guangdong Province, China. Aciar Proceeding, n. 111, ACIAR, Canberra, p. 174-182, 2003.

BARBOSA, M. D. et al. Florística e fitossociologia de espécies arbóreas e arbustivas em uma área de caatinga em Arcoverde, PE, Brasil. Revista Árvore, v. 36, n. 5, p. 851-858, 2012.

CALIXTO JÚNIOR, J. T.; DRUMOND, M. A. Estudo comparativo da estrutura fitossociológica de dois fragmentos de Caatinga em níveis diferentes de conservação. Pesquisa Florestal Brasileira, v. 34, n. 80, p. 00-00, 2014.

ČERMAK, J.; KUČERA, J.; NADEZHDINA, N. Sap flow measurements with some thermodynamic methods, flow integration within trees and scaling up from sample trees to entire forest stands. Trees, v. 18, p. 529-546, 2004.

CISZ, M. E.; FALKOWSKI, M. J.; ORR, B. Small-scale spatial patterns of Copernicia alba Morong near Bahia Negra, Paraguay. Natural Resources, v. 4, p. 369-377, 2013.

COSTA, C. A. G. et al. Permanence of Water Effectiveness in the Root Zone of the Caatinga Biome. Revista Caatinga, v. 29, n. 3, p. 692–699, 2016.

COSTA, C. A. G. et al. Spatial behaviour of soil moisture in the root zone of the Caatinga biome. Revista Ciência Agronômica, Fortaleza, v. 44, n. 4, p. 685-694, 2013.

DE ARAÚJO, J. C.; PIEDRA, J. I. G. Comparative hydrology: analysis of a semiarid and a humid tropical watershed. Hydrological Processes, v. 23, n. 8, p. 1169–1178, 15 abr. 2009.

DE FIGUEIREDO, J. V. et al. Runoff initiation in a preserved semiarid Caatinga small watershed, Northeastern Brazil. Hydrological Processes, v. 30, n. 13, p. 2390–2400. 2016.

ENQUIST, B. J. Universal scaling in tree and vascular plant allometry: toward a general quantitative theory linking plant form and function from cells to ecosystems. Tree Physiology, v. 22, p. 1045-1064, 2002.

FARIAS, T. R. L. et al. Unpaved rural roads as source areas of sediment in a watershed of the Brazilian semi-arid region. International Journal of Sediment Research, v. 34, n. 5, p. 475–485, 2019.

GEBAUER, T.; HORNA, V.; LEUSCHNER, C. Variability in radial sap flux density patterns and sapwood area among seven co-occuring temperate broad-leaved tree species. Tree Physiology, v. 28, p. 1821-1830, 2008.

HOFFMAN, A. Estimating tree transpiration accurately depends on wood type and species: a study of four southern appalachian tree species. The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research, v. 11, n. 1. p. 30-34, 2012.

HORNA, V. et al. Environment and tree size controlling stem sap flux in a perhumid tropical forest of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Annals of Forest Science, v. 68, n. 5, p. 1027-1038, 2011.

JIN, Y.; WANG, C. K.; SANG, Y. Contribution of stem water storage to daily transpiration of three temperate trees in northeastern China. Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology, v. 35, n. 12, p. 1310–1317, 2011.

LEMOS, J. R.; MEGURO, M. Estudo fitossociológico de uma área de Caatinga na Estação Ecológica (ESEC) de Aiuaba, Ceará, Brasil. Biotemas, Florianópolis, v. 28, n. 2, p. 39-50, 2015.

LUBCZYNSKI, M. W., CHAVARRO-RINCON, D. C., ROSSITER, D. G. Conductive sapwood area prediction from stem and canopy areas - allometric equations of Kalahari trees, Botswana. Ecohydrology, v. 10, p. 1-13, 2017.

MENCUCCINI, M. et al. Evidence for age - and size-mediated controls of tree growth from grafting studies. Tree Physiology, v. 27, p. 463-473, 2007.

MENCUCCINI, M. et al. Sanio’s laws revisited.size-dependent changes in the xylem architecture of trees. Ecology Letters, v. 10, p. 1084–1093, 2007.

MENDONÇA, L. A. R. et al. Avaliação da capacidade de infiltração de solos submetidos a diferentes tipos de manejo. Engenharia Sanitária e Ambiental, v. 14, p. 89-98, 2009.

MENDONÇA, L. A. R. et al. Problemas de cálcio na água de abastecimento de Nova Olinda - Ce. Engenharia Sanitária e Ambiental, v. 13, p. 298-305, 2008.

MORENTE, M.; CAMPOS, M.; RUANO, F. Evaluation of two different methods to measure the effects of the management regime on the olive-canopy arthropod community. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, v. 259, p. 111–118, 2018.

PEGADO, C. M. A. et al. Efeitos da invasão biológica de algaroba: Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. sobre a composição e a estrutura do estrato arbustivo-arbóreo da caatinga no Município de Monteiro, PB, Brasil. Acta Botanica Brasilica, São Paulo, v. 20, n. 4, p. 887-898, 2006.

PEREIRA JÚNIOR, L. R.; ANDRADE, A. P. DE; ARAÚJO, K. D. Composição florística e fitossociológica de um fragmento de caatinga em monteiro, PB. HOLOS, v. 6, p. 73-87, 2012.

PINHEIRO, E. A. R. et al. Importance of soil-water to the Caatinga biome, Brazil. Ecohydrology, v. 9, n. 7, p. 1313–1327, 2016.

RODAL, M. J. N.; SAMPAIO, E, V. de SA B.; FIGUEIREDO, M. A. Manual sobre métodos de estudos florístico e fitossiciológico: ecossistema Caatinga. Brasília: Sociedade Botânica do Brasil, 2013.

SHAHID, M.; JOSHI, S. P. Phytosociological assessment & distribution patterns of tree species in the forests of Doon Valley, Shivalik hills of lower Himalaya. Tropical Plant Research, v. 3, n. 2, p. 263–271, 2016.

Revista Ciência Agronômica ISSN 1806-6690 (online) 0045-6888 (impresso), Site:, e-mail: - Fone: (85) 3366.9702 - Expediente: 2ª a 6ª feira - de 7 às 17h.