M. G. HUCK,' BETTY KLEPPER,' AND H. M. TAYLOR' Soil and Water Conservation Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama 36830 Many aerial plant parts show diurnal patterns of water status, with a decrease in water content and water potential corresponding to the midday peak in evaporative demand (5, 7, 9, 10). Similar diurnal patterns might be expected in root tissues because the water potential in the root xylem should follow closely the xylem water potential of plant tops. The data reported here, obtained at the Auburn Rhizotron (13) where roots in soil may be observed through transparent panels while tops are exposed to field conditions, show that lateral roots do indeed undergo diurnal variations in diameter. I- spot where soil density was low. Thus, root-soil contact was not as close as would generally be the case. Soil water content declined during the measurement period, as shown by individually calibrated gypsum block readings. At a depth of 0.6 m, soil water potential decreased from -5 bars to -7 bars between August 4 and August 8, and at a depth of 1.2 m it decreased from -1 bar to
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