Sap Flow Measurements in a Socotra Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari) in its Area of Origin

  • Nadezhda Nadezhdina
  • Abdulraqeeb Al-Okaishi
  • Petr Madera


For the first time, in situ field measurements of sap flow were conducted in adult Dracaena cinnabari plant native to the arid tropical climate of Socotra Island. The heat field deformation (HFD) method was applied using both single and multi-point sensors to study azimuthal and radial sap flow variability in stem, roots and first-order branches over two weeks during a winter monsoon. The main aim of this work was to monitor sap flow in adult D. cinnabari in-situ to better understand its physiological adaptation to extreme arid environments. The second aim was to compare our results with earlier sap flow measurements in adult D. draco uing the same HFD method. The last question we wanted to answer was comparison of sap flow measurements in both, young and adult Dracaena species. We found that sap flow magnitude is low and of a similar range in all observed D. species. High sap flow variability was recorded in different parts of adult D. cinnabari plant which changed throughout the day responding to interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic water potential gradients induced by sunlight. Maximum sap flow levels had variable pattern around stem in response to sun exposure, similarly as it was observed in adult D. draco plant. Sensors installed tangentially in stem xylem showed that water transport in adult D. cinnabari may move in lateral direction. This work also presents several methodological aspects detected from earlier observations of dicots which proved to be more pronounced in adult D. species. These methodologies relate to interpreting negative sap flow rates in conjunction with established axial flow reversal during hydraulic redistribution usually occurring under low evaporative demands and dry soil. Conversely, flow reversal during the day under high evaporative demands and wet soil may designate lateral water movement induced by internal water redistribution.


Dracaena cinnabari Dracaena draco monocots heat field deformation Soqotra Tenerife 



The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive and insightful comments and suggestions which helped to improve our manuscript during the reviewing process. We also thank the local authority of Socotra for the permission to conduct sap flow measurements on adult D. cinnabari tree and MS Jimenez and D Morales for ability to measure sap flow in adult D. draco tree, growing in their garden. Enthusiastic help of local inhabitants during installation of the equipment on D. cinnabari and following keeping an eye on it are very acknowledged too.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadezhda Nadezhdina
    • 1
  • Abdulraqeeb Al-Okaishi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Petr Madera
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocoenology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood TechnologyMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Environmental Protection AuthoritySocotraRepublic of Yemen

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