Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 2019-05-02, Vol.19 (10), p.2419
Thermal dissipation probe (TDP) method (Granier, 1985) is widely used to estimate tree transpiration (i.e., the water evaporated from the leaves) because it is simple to build, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. However, the universality of the original calibration has been questioned and, in many cases, proved to be inaccurate. Thus, when the TDP is used in a new species, specific tests should be carried out. Our aim was to propose a new method for improving the accuracy of TDP on trees in the field. Small hazelnut trees (diameter at breast height 5 cm) were used for the experiment. The response of TDP sensors was compared with a reference water uptake measured with an electronic potometer system provided with a high precision liquid flow meter. We equipped three stems where we measured the sap flow density, the sapwood area (by using fuchsine), the total tree water uptake (reference), and the main meteorological parameters during summer 2018. Results confirmed that the original Granier's calibration underestimated the effective tree transpiration (relative error about -60%). We proposed a new equation for improving the measurement accuracy within an error of about 4%. The system proposed appeared an easier solution compared to potted trees and particularly suitable for orchards, thus contributing to improve the irrigation management worldwide.
Engineering ; Physical Sciences ; Chemistry ; Technology ; Instruments & Instrumentation ; Engineering, Electrical & Electronic ; Chemistry, Analytical ; Science & Technology ; trees ; hazelnut ; water management
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