by FIONA MACDONALD
New research has shown for the first time that trees don’t just move water up and down like we previously thought - they can also move it across into their ‘food tubes’ to store it for a not-so-rainy day.
Scientists from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at the University of Western Sydney in Australia have used fluorescent dyes to map the flow of water through trees, and found that the direction of movement isn’t just vertical, its also horizontal.
It was previously assumed that plants transported food and water through two very separate pathways - the phloem and the xylem. The phloem transfers all nutrients, such as proteins and sugars, from the roots to the rest of the plant, and the xylem moves water upwards to the leaves.