Author(s): Hatton TJ, Moore SJ, Reece PH
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Abstract Sap flow measurement techniques, such as the heat pulse (compensation) method, are practical means for estimating the water use of individual trees and are often the only reasonable alternative for measuring forest and woodland transpiration in complex heterogeneous terrain. The need to scale estimates of water use from a sample of individual stems to a stand (population) of known area may be satisfied by applying scalars of flux based on tree size or domain. We estimated the aggregate errors in applying the heat pulse technique to the estimation of stand transpiration in a poplar box (Eucalyptus populnea F.J. Muell.) woodland in southeastern Queensland, Australia, by a combination of precision analyses, experimental validation and Monte Carlo simulations of sampling errors. Errors in sap flux density measurements were approximately 13\%. The potential error in the flux estimates for individual stems with stratified sampling of sap flux density with depth and bole quadrant based on four sensors was an additional 25\%. Conducting wood area, diameter at 1.3 m, leaf area and domain based on Ecological Field Theory all proved excellent scalars of flux at the stand level. With a sample size of six trees stratified by diameter, coefficients of variation in scaling to the stand level were approximately 5\% for any of these scalars. The greatest potential source of error in estimating stand transpiration by the heat pulse method was in the measurement of the fluxes of individual stems; scaling these measurements to a homogeneous stand of trees involved less uncertainty.
This article was published in Tree Physiol
and referenced in Hydrology: Current Research