Widely accepted concepts and definitions concerning the driving forces of upward water fluxes, such as osmotic pressure (OP) and water potential (WP), were analyzed in the soil–plant–atmosphere system. It is emphasized that, at present, there are no physically correct definitions of the mentioned parameters, because such a concept as the heat pressure of molecules in a liquid has not been introduced. Physical definitions of OP and WP are presented. It is demonstrated that WP is not a driving force for water fluxes at the water–vapor interface. The fundamental difference in mechanisms of diffusion fluxes and active transport across the biological membranes is analyzed. The biological specificity of driving forces at the soil–root and leaf–air interfaces is described.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2004
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