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A plant with a deep root system which obtains water from the groundwater or the capillary fringe above the water table.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a plant with an extremely deep root system that uses groundwater as its source of moisture. A classical example is the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), which grows on oases in the Sahara and the Arabian Peninsula. (An ancient Arabic proverb says that the date palm has its head in fire and its feet in water.) Phreatophytes occur in the subtropical eucalyptus forests on the eastern coast of Australia. They serve as indicators of the depth and salinity of the groundwater. For example, the licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is an indicator of fresh water at depths of 5 to 10 m, and Halostachys caspica indicates salt water at depths of 5 to 15 m. Typical phreatophytes include many desert and semidesert plants, for example, camelthorn (Alhagi camelorum), tamarisk (Tamarix), and Achnatherum.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The lack of precipitation and abundant phreatophytic vegetation (Meglioli et al., 2013) prevents and delays N[O.sub.3.sup.-] inputs into the aquifer, explaining the generally low concentrations of nitrate found in most of the area.
(2007): Groundwater and soil chemical changes under phreatophytic tree plantations.
(1999) showed that the phreatophytic character of this species enables it to withstand the dry season without being exposed to severe water stress.
As for transpiration of leachate by the phreatophytic willows, Schnoor (2002) estimates that such vegetation can transpire about 6 L [m.sup.-2] [d.sup.-1] during the growing season.
Here phreatophytic trees could be used to enhance the degradation of organochlorines such as dieldrin (Schnabel and White 2001), control leaching, and demarcate the area so that stock can be prevented from ingesting contaminated pasture or soil.
The phreatophytic vegetation of the River Floodplain-Arroyo formation was placed in the Arroyo-Mesquite-Acacia association.
(2008), who found that growth of fine roots in phreatophytic Populus alba was stimulated in the layer of soil just above a stationary water table.
1974) (water user salvaged water by removing phreatophytic vegetation; could not get decree to use salvaged water free of call); Salt River Valley Water Users' Assoc.
Perturbation of floodplain hydrology resulting in the depression of floodplain water tables may also result in water stress in riparian trees and shrubs, given the phreatophytic habit of the taxa dominating floodplain communities (Busch et al.
Further monitoring of resprouting Cercidium and Olneya will be required to determine whether these two important phreatophytic trees will continue to survive after the fire.
The original azonal vegetation of these alluvial plains was like that of the parts that remain uncultivated, a closed or open phreatophytic thornforest of mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa var.
Additionally, invasion of phreatophytic salt cedar (Tamarix) in riparian zones (Gaskin and Schaal, 2002) may affect flow of streams and quality of riparian habitats (Sala et al., 1996).