Phloem pp 301-310 | Cite as

Stem Compression: A Means to Reversibly Reduce Phloem Transport in Tree Stems

  • Nils HenrikssonEmail author
  • Tim T. Rademacher
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2014)


Stem compression reduces or terminates the phloem-mediated transport of carbohydrates and other solutes in tree stems, without causing permanent damage to phloem functioning (Henriksson et al. Tree Physiol. 35:1075–1085, 2015). This has been tested on two species of pine trees, with diameters ranging from 3 to 26 cm in a forest in northern Sweden (Henriksson et al. Tree Physiol. 35:1075–1085, 2015) and in Harvard Forest, USA. Halting the phloem transport of trees in a forest is useful for studying tree physiological processes related to, or dependent on, phloem-transported compounds as well as downstream processes, in particular interactions with soil microbes. Phloem compression can be deployed in the lab and field on single trees, subsets, or over larger areas, depending on what is relevant for a particular research question.

Key words

Phloem transport Belowground carbon allocation Whole-tree treatment Reversible Compression Girdling Phloem manipulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forest Ecology and ManagementSwedish University of Agriculture (SLU)UmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.School of Informatics, Computing & Cyber SystemsNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA
  4. 4.Center for Ecosystem Science and SocietyNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA

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