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Sap flow of irrigated Populus alba var. pyramidalis and its relationship with environmental factors and leaf area index in an arid region of Northwest China

Xu, Xiaoyan, Tong, Ling, Li, Fusheng, Kang, Shaozhong, Qu, Yanping
Journal of forest research 2011 v.16 no.2 pp. 144-152
Populus alba, agricultural land, air temperature, arid zones, environmental factors, evapotranspiration, growing season, irrigation, leaf area index, models, sap, sap flow, soil water, solar radiation, transpiration, trees, vapor pressure, wind speed, China
Populus alba L. var. pyramidalis Bge. (Populus) is a main tree of the farmland shelter-belt system in the arid region of Northwest China. However, soil moisture cannot satisfy the water requirements of normal Populus growth under local natural conditions, thus studying the transpiration characteristics of irrigated Populus and its relationship with the environmental factors and growth parameters is very important to the growth of the trees in this region. In this study, the sap flow of two irrigated Populus trees was measured during May to September from 2005 to 2008 using the heat-pulse technique. The results show that the maximum and minimum daily sap fluxes in Populus were 15.7-24.0 and 3.0-4.0 L day⁻¹, respectively. And the sum of sap fluxes from June to August accounted for approximately 63-69% of the total sap flux during May to September (almost the whole growing season). The order of the meteorological factors affecting the daily sap flux of Populus was: vapor pressure deficit > solar radiation > mean air temperature > wind speed. Furthermore, a highly linear relationship between the ratio of daily sap flux to the reference evapotranspiration (SF/ET₀) and the amount of soil water in the 0-2.0 m layer was found, indicating that the amount of soil water at this layer was quite important to the growth of Populus in this region. Especially, the amount of soil water in the 0.5-1.0 m soil layer contributed to most of the plant transpiration as the highest coefficient of determination at this layer. Based on the environmental factors and leaf area index influencing sap flux, an empirical transpiration model was constructed to estimate daily transpiration.