The relationship between sap flow rates and diurnal fluctuation of stems was investigated in cloned 3-year-old saplings of Cryptomeria japonica D. Don grown in a phytotron with irrigation every 2 days. The improved stem heat balance method and a strain gauge were used to measure sap flow rate and diurnal fluctuation of the stem. The sap flow rate reacted to lighting conditions, increasing and decreasing immediately after lights-on and lights-off, respectively. The tangential strain on the surface of the inner bark exhibited a reaction that followed but opposed the reaction of the sap flow rate to lighting conditions. Based on the changes in sap flow rate, there seemed to be four phases in diurnal sap flow: phase A1 began with lights-on, when the sap flow rate increased, and lasted about 2 hours. In the following phase, A2, the sap flow rate remained almost constant at 1.3 g/min for about 10 h, and then declined for about 2 h as lights-off approached. In phase B, the early period of darkness, the sap flow declined quickly and then more slowly, for about 4 h, until the start of the second dark period, phase C, when the sap flow rate became almost constant at 0.05 g/min for about 6 h. The first derivative of each sap flow rate and the corresponding tangential strain were calculated, and the results indicated a negative correlation between the two variables in all periods. In particular, the relationship between the first derivative values exhibited a highly negative correlation in phases A 1 and B, expressed as a primary formula. Sap flow rate was found to continue for some time after lights-off, and this compensated for reduced evaporative effects, albeit at a slow rate, over 4 h. The total amount of sap flow in the dark was only about 9% of that in the light, disregarding transpiration in the dark for simplicity. Thus, the total amount of sap flow responsible for swelling of the stem was about 9% of that consumed in transpiration during the light period.
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