Skip to main content
Select Source:

water potential

water potential Symbol Ψ. The difference between the chemical potential of the water in a biological system and the chemical potential of pure water at the same temperature and pressure. It is manifested as a force acting on water molecules in a solution separated from pure water by a membrane that is permeable to water molecules only and can be expressed as the sum of the solute potential and the pressure potential: Ψ = Ψs + Ψp

Water potential is measured in kilopascals (kPa). The water potential of pure water is zero; aqueous solutions of increasing concentration have increasingly negative values. Water tends to move from areas of high (less negative) water potential to areas of low (more negative) water potential. Osmosis in plants is now described in terms of water potential. In soils and other extracellular systems, another factor, called matric potential, can contribute significantly to water potential.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"water potential." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"water potential." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential-3

"water potential." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential-3

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

water potential

water potential
1. (osmotic potential, chemical potential) The difference between the energy of water in the system being considered and of pure, free water at the same temperature. The water potential of pure water is zero, so that of a solution will be negative. If there is a gradient of water potential between two plant cells, water will diffuse down the gradient until equilibrium is reached.

2. See CAPILLARY MOISTURE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"water potential." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"water potential." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential

"water potential." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

water potential

water potential
1. (chemical potential, osmotic potential) The difference between the energy of water in the system being considered and of pure, free water at the same temperature. The water potential of pure water is zero, so that of a solution will be negative. If there is a gradient of water potential between two plant cells, water will diffuse down the gradient until equilibrium is reached.

2. See capillary moisture.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"water potential." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"water potential." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential-0

"water potential." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

water potential

water potential The difference between the energy of water in the system being considered and of pure, free water at the same temperature. The water potential of pure water is zero, so that of a solution will be negative. If there is a gradient of water potential between two cells, water will diffuse down the gradient until equilibrium is reached.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"water potential." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"water potential." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential-2

"water potential." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential-2

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

water potential

water potential
1. A measure of the energy that causes water to enter plant cells. There is a net movement of water from a region of high water potential to one of low water potential.

2. Surface tension. See CAPILLARY MOISTURE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"water potential." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"water potential." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential-1

"water potential." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/water-potential-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.