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Differential translucence method as a supplement to sap flow measurement in Norway spruce with symptoms of top dieback

Světlík, J., Børja, I., Rosner, S., Cermák, J., Nadezhdin, V., Nadezhdina, N.
Acta horticulturae 2013 no.991 pp. 285-292
Picea abies, cambium, deformation, dieback, embolism, heartwood, heat, sap flow, sapwood, stems, trees, wood
In cases where sap flow is measured in trees and cross-sectional sapwood is not uniformly distributed, as in stems of diseased trees, an additional method may refine the sap flow measurements. If the studied trees are felled, the modified differential translucence method (MDT) for quantifying sapwood distribution in cross-sectional area may be compared with sap flow measurements. We studied sap flow by the heat field deformation method (HFD) in 12 Norway spruce trees with visible dieback symptoms and 12 without symptoms. Later, all sample trees were felled and analysed by MDT method. Results from MDT described well the differences and abnormalities which were also detected by HFD at any depth of the sapwood. Sap flow for whole tree (SF1) was calculated in accordance with radial and circumferential variation of sap flow density detected by HFD (based on average sap flow radial profiles). Other sapwood disturbances in parts not covered by HFD measurements were later corrected by MDT and refined total sap flow (SF2) was calculated. Relative differences between SF1and SF2 reached an interval from -0.21 to 0.41 for symptomatic trees and from -0.15 to 0.29 for non-symptomatic trees. The majority of the non-symptomatic trees had the relative difference close to zero. The theoretical use of single-point sensors for sap flow measurement was compared with the proportions of three wood types in a line 2 cm below the vascular cambium (a-sapwood, b-borders sapwood/heartwood or embolism, c-heartwood or embolism). The variability across wood types in the chosen line in the symptomatic trees was high and therefore quantifying the sap flow by the single point method was not possible.