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Estimating transpiration for three woody ornamental tree species using stem-flow gauges and lysimetry

, : Estimating transpiration for three woody ornamental tree species using stem-flow gauges and lysimetry. Hortscience 28(4): 320-322

We compared transpiration estimates of three common desert landscape tree species using stem-flow gauges and lysimetry. Argentine mesquite (Prosopis alba Grisebach), desert willow (Chilopsis linearis (cav.) Sweet var. linearis), and southern live oak (Quercus virginiana Mill., seedling selection) were subjected to three irrigation regimes. Leaching fractions of +0.25, 0.00, and -0.25 were imposed for 2 years. During the summer of the second year, we conducted a comparative transpiration study. Trees growing in 190-liter plastic containers had a highly linear correlation (r = 0.98, P = 0.001) between transpiration estimated by stem-flow gauges and lysimetry. An average 18% error was measured between paired data (total runs of 14 to 72.5 hours) of stem-flow gauge and lysimetry transpiration estimates. However, a lower error was correlated significantly with longer run times (r = -0.37, P = 0.05). Based on field measurements taken in this experiment, run times would have to be gt 68 hours to maintain an associated error below 10%. Higher cumulative transpiration also was associated with longer run times (r = 0.80, P = 0.001). These results suggest that the stem-flow gauge can be used to estimate transpiration accurately to schedule irrigation for woody ornamental trees in an arid environment, provided that irrigation predictions are not based on short-term stem-flow gauge estimates ( lt 68 hours).

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