The transpiration characteristics and heat dissipation analysis of natural leaves grown in different climatic environments

  • Kai Xu
  • Chuanmao Zheng
  • Hong YeEmail author


Because vegetation is one of the typical backgrounds on land, it is necessary to investigate the transpiration characteristics and heat dissipation processes of the leaves grown in different natural environments to optimize the thermal infrared camouflage performance of the bionic materials for countering the thermal infrared detection. Considering ambient temperature and relative air humidity as the dominant environmental factors, daily transpiration rates of various kinds of leaves grown in Wuxi (summer and winter, moderate relative air humidity) and Xishuangbanna (summer, high relative air humidity) were measured respectively, and a thermophysical model was established to investigate the heat dissipation processes of the leaves. Results show that the average daily transpiration rates of the leaves are 1.42, 0.42 and 0.92 kg/m2∙day in Wuxi summer, Wuxi winter and Xishuangbanna summer respectively, indicating that the daily transpiration rates vary significantly with different environments. In Wuxi summer and winter, the daily transpirative heat flow accounts for approximately 55.8% and 24.3% of the total heat dissipation of the Cinnamomum camphora leaves respectively, revealing the significant effect of the transpirative heat transfer on the temperature of the leaves grown in the environment of high ambient temperature and the weakened effect in the environment of low ambient temperature. In Xishuangbanna summer, the daily transpirative heat flow accounts for approximately 37.3% of the total heat dissipation of the Ailanthus leaf, which is significantly lower than that in Wuxi summer, indicating that relative air humidity also dominates the effect of transpirative heat transfer on the temperature of the leaves.



Velocity of light in vacuum, m/s


Specific heat capacity of the leaf, J/kg·K


Specific heat capacity of the air, J/kg·K


Saturated vapor concentration, kg/m3


Saturated vapor concentration in the gaps among the mesophyll cells, kg/m3


Vapor concentration of the ambient air, kg/m3


Binary diffusing coefficient of the vapor in the air, m2/s


Energy of a single photon, J


Transpiration rate, kg/m2·s

Eλ, b

Spectral emissive power of a blackbody, W/m2·μm


Integral value of Eλ, b in the range from 400 to 700 nm,



Stomatal conductance, mol/ m2·s


Solar irradiation, W/m2


Planck constant, J ⋅ s


Convection heat transfer coefficient, W/m2·K


Convective mass transfer coefficient, m/s


Thermal conductivity of the ambient air, W/m·K


Characteristic length of the leaf, m


Lewis number


Latent heat of vaporization, J/kg


Avogadro’s constant, mol−1


Molar mass of ambient air, g/mol


Molar mass of water, g/mol


Atmospheric pressure, MPa


Water vapor partial pressure in the humid air, Pa


Photosynthetically active radiation, μmol/m2·s


Saturated water vapor pressure, Pa


Convective heat flux between the ambient air and the leaf surface, W/m2


Transpirative heat flux, W/m2


Solar irradiation in the range from 400 to 700 nm, W/m2


Radiative heat flux between the environment and the leaf surface, W/m2


Diffusing resistance of the vapor through the boundary layer, s/m


Stomatal resistance, s/m


Relative air humidity


Time, s


Ambient temperature, K


Temperature of internal leaf of the canopy, K


Leaf temperature, K


Efficient sky temperature, K


Wind speed, m/s


Vapor pressure deficit, Pa


Water vapor mole fraction

Greek Letters


Thermal diffusing coefficient of the air, m2/s


Solar absorption


Thickness of the leaf, m


Emissivity of the leaf


Ratio of solar irradiation in the range from 400 to 700 nm to the total solar irradiation


Solar spectral reflectivity


Density of the leaf, kg/m3


Density of the air, kg/m3


Stefan-Boltzmann constant, W/m2·K4


Solar spectral transmittance



This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Contract Grant Number: 51576188).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Thermal Science and Energy EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiPeople’s Republic of China

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