alexa Heat dissipation sensors of variable length for the measurement of sap flow in trees with deep sapwood.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Hydrology: Current Research

Author(s): James SA, Clearwater MJ, Meinzer FC, Goldstein G

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Abstract Robust thermal dissipation sensors of variable length (3 to 30 cm) were developed to overcome limitations to the measurement of radial profiles of sap flow in large-diameter tropical trees with deep sapwood. The effective measuring length of the custom-made sensors was reduced to 1 cm at the tip of a thermally nonconducting shaft, thereby minimizing the influence of nonuniform sap flux density profiles across the sapwood. Sap flow was measured at different depths and circumferential positions in the trunks of four trees at the Parque Natural Metropolitano canopy crane site, Panama City, Republic of Panama. Sap flow was detected to a depth of 24 cm in the trunks of a 1-m-diameter Anacardium excelsum (Bertero & Balb. ex Kunth) Skeels tree and a 0.65-m-diameter Ficus insipida Willd. tree, and to depths of 7 cm in a 0.34-m-diameter Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pav.) Cham. trunk, and 17 cm in a 0.47-m-diameter Schefflera morototoni (Aubl.) Maguire, Steyerm. & Frodin trunk. Sap flux density was maximal in the outermost 4 cm of sapwood and declined with increasing sapwood depth. Considerable variation in sap flux density profiles was observed both within and among the trees. In S. morototoni, radial variation in sap flux density was associated with radial variation in wood properties, particularly vessel lumen area and distribution. High variability in radial and circumferential sap flux density resulted in large errors when measurements of sap flow at a single depth, or a single radial profile, were used to estimate whole-plant water use. Diurnal water use ranged from 750 kg H2O day-1 for A. excelsum to 37 kg H2O day-1 for C. alliodora.
This article was published in Tree Physiol and referenced in Hydrology: Current Research

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