We report the detection of cavitation events in corn (Zea mays) plants growing under field conditions in Greeley, CO. To our knowledge this study reports the first successful attempt to monitor continuously for long periods the cavitation events of a crop plant using acoustic detection techniques. Cavitation events occur in corn plants using acoustic detection techniques. Cavitation events occur in corn plants irrigated daily when the xylem pressure potentials fall below about -1.0 megapascals. In unirrigated corn we estimate that approximately half of all vessels cavitate on any one day when xylem pressure potentials fall below about -1.8 megapascals. We postulate that root pressure developed every night in irrigated and unirrigated corn is adequate to rejoin cavitated water columns.
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