Hydraulic lift was studied in live and dead Quercus agrifolia (Coastal Live Oak) in order to test its impact on surrounding Venegasia carpesioides (Canyon Sunflower). Hydraulic lift causes soil moisture to rise around the base of deep-rooted plants where neighboring plants can utilize this excess water. We predicted that the hydraulic lift of the Coastal Live Oak would increase soil moisture, causing higher stomatal conductance and higher water potential in nearby plants. Pvalues of .5258 and .6392 indicated there were no significant differences in soil moisture or in stomatal conductance of the Canyon Sunflowers. A p-value of .0378 showed a significant difference between the water potentials of the Canyon Sunflowers found around the live trees and dead trees. This shows there is a correlation between hydraulic lift and surrounding plant health.
Donovan, Kelly and Wagner, Brittany, "The Effect Of Hydraulic Lift In Quercus agrifolia On The Health Of Venegasia carpesioides" (2009). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 13.