Failure and “Senescence” of Xylem Function

  • Melvin T. Tyree
  • M. H. Zimmermann
Part of the Springer Series in Wood Science book series (SSWOO)


In his review of xylem conduction, Huber (1956) wrote: “we are virtually certain that the pressures of the moving water columns in the xylem are negative most of the time, but we are equally certain that such negative pressures cannot be maintained forever. Sooner or later water columns will break. Tracheary elements are thus filled with gas, probably irreversibly. This loss of water from the conducting channels is the beginning of a chain of events which we call heartwood formation” (free translation from the German).


Growth Ring Tracheary Element Heartwood Formation Earlywood Vessel Ground Parenchyma 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melvin T. Tyree
    • 1
  • M. H. Zimmermann
  1. 1.United States Department of Agriculture Forest ServiceAiken Forestry Sciences LaboratorySouth BurlingtonUSA

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