Xylem vessels running up tree trunks prevent gas bubble formation because all surfaces are hydrophilic.
"The water columns in the xylem vessels running up the trunk of a tree provide a dramatic example of what's possible when all surfaces are hydrophilic. With megapascals of negative pressures virtually any dissolved gas ensures supersaturation, yet bubbles rarely form. It's a good thing, too- a tiny bubble would rupture a water column since any bubble is itself an appropriate surface for gas formation; and, once formed, bubbles grow almost explosively in a supersaturated liquid." (Vogel 2003:111)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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