Capillary water is held in pores that are small enough to hold water against gravity, but not so tightly that roots cannot absorb it. This water occurs as a film around soil particles and in the pores between them and is the main source of plant moisture. As this water is withdrawn, the larger pores drain first. The finer the pores, the more resistant they are to removal of water. As water is withdrawn, the film becomes thinner and harder to detach from the soil particles. This capillary water can move in all directions in response to suction and can move upwards through soil for up to two meters, the particles and pores of the soil acting like a wick.
Glossary Term Name