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Trunk sap flow characteristics during two growth stages of apple tree and its relationships with affecting factors in an arid region of northwest China

Liu, Chunwei, Du, Taisheng, Li, Fusheng, Kang, Shaozhong, Li, Sien, Tong, Ling
Agricultural water management 2012 v.104 pp. 193-202
apples, arid zones, border irrigation, developmental stages, irrigation scheduling, leaf area index, leaf water potential, models, sap flow, seasonal variation, soil water content, trees, vapor pressure, China
Sap flow is an important parameter for orchard irrigation scheduling. According to seasonal variation of trunk diameter and leaf area index (LAI), the whole growth stage of apple tree was divided into stage I (rapid leaf and trunk growing) and stage II (rapid fruit enlarging and maturing). Trunk sap flow (SF) of apple tree irrigated with 100% evapotranspiration (ET) was measured using the compensation heat-pulse method, and meteorological variables, soil water content (θ), LAI, maximum daily stem shrinkage (MDS) and leaf water potential (φₗ) were monitored during the whole stages from 2008 to 2010 in an apple orchard of arid region of northwest China. The relationships between SF and affecting factors were also analyzed. The results show that LAI increased rapidly at stage I, and SF was mainly determined by vapor pressure deficit (VPD), LAI and reference evapotranspiration (ET₀). However, LAI was relatively stable at stage II, and SF was affected by VPD, ET₀ and θ. Under the condition of border irrigation with 100% ET, tree SF could be calculated using VPD, ET₀ and LAI at stage I, and VPD, ET₀ and θ at stage II. Moreover, SF had significantly negative linear relationship with φₗ and exponential relationship with MDS. Therefore, it is beneficial for more accurate modeling of truck sap flow and orchard water management under border irrigation by analyzing major factors affecting sap flow during two stages of apple tree.