Main content area

Contact angle measurements and water drop behavior on leaf surface for several deciduous shrub and tree species from a temperate zone

Papierowska, Ewa, Szporak-Wasilewska, Sylwia, Szewińska, Joanna, Szatyłowicz, Jan, Debaene, Guillaume, Utratna, Marta
Trees 2018 v.32 no.5 pp. 1253-1266
absorption, contact angle, deciduous forests, droplets, forest plants, hydrologic cycle, leaves, pesticides, plant pathogens, pollutants, shrubs, summer, temperate zones, trees, wettability
KEY MESSAGE: Leaf CA measurement should take into account angle variation during measurement time. Leaf wettability of common deciduous forest plants is characterized by wetting contact angles ranging from 60° to 140° with a significant variation between species of the same family. Leaf wettability is an important phenomenon that has an influence on several processes such as the hydrological cycle, plant pathogen growth, or pollutant and pesticide absorption/deposition. The main objective of this research was to investigate the leaf wettability differences of 19 species (16 trees and 3 shrubs) of deciduous plants commonly occurring in Polish forests (temperate climate). The measurements were gathered as follows: 20 undamaged leaves were selected for each species and the wettability was determined by contact angle measurements with an optical goniometer CAM 100 using the sessile drop method. The contact angle was measured with 1-s intervals during 2 min from droplet deposition on adaxial and abaxial leaf surface. Laboratory analyses were completed during the summer of 2016 during full vegetation growth. A general CA decrease with time was observed on both leaf sides. The contact angle values ranged from 60° to 140° depending on species and leaf side. Differences between contact angle values at the beginning and the end of measurement reached 23.6° and engendered changes of wetting classes for some species. In many cases, no wettability class change was observed despite a CA lowering of 20°. The abaxial side was found to be the more repellent for 14 out of 19 species. Altogether, the leaves were classified from highly wettable to highly non-wettable, probably depending on the plant-survival strategy.