A compact MRI for outdoor tree measurement aimed at elucidating plant physiology was developed by Professor Katsumi Kose, Associate Professor Yasuhiko Terada, and graduate student Akiyoshi Nagata, Department of Physical Engineering, Mathematical Materials, University of Tsukuba.This MRI is used to measure zelkova planted on the campus of University of Tsukuba.For the first time in the world, we succeeded in visualizing the flow of sap from outdoor trees.

 There has never been an image of sap flow in an outdoor natural environment, and it is the first time in the world that we have succeeded in visualizing it.Trees have physiological functions such as photosynthesis, respiration, and metabolism, and have been measured in various ways.However, continuous measurement of trees is necessary to clarify plant physiology even more deeply.In this study, MRI, which is generally used as a medical diagnostic imaging device, was developed for outdoor tree measurement, and zelkova was measured non-destructively.The plant physiology was investigated by visualizing the flow of sap.

 From the research results, it was found that the sap flows more in the daytime than in the night because the trees transpiration actively during the day, and the sap flow also decreases because the leaves for transpiration decrease before and after the defoliation.

 From now on, it plans to acquire data on volume flow distribution for one year and investigate the relationship with meteorological data.It is expected that new knowledge of plant physiology will be acquired as this research progresses in the future.

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