Evaluation of Sap Flow Sensors to Measure the Transpiration Rate of Plants during Canopy Wetting and Drying

Jasim Uddin, Rod Smith, Nigel Hancock, Joseph Foley


Accurate measurement of transpiration is required to estimate the various components of evaporation losses during sprinkler irrigation. Among the methods, sap flow measurements have widely used for direct measurements of transpiration rate in plant. To evaluate the applicability of this method to field experiments involving canopy wetting (by sprinkler irrigation), stem flow measurements were compared with transpiration values estimated from successive mass measurements of small potted plants using pre-calibrated mini-lysimeters in a glasshouse at the University of Southern Queensland, during the period August–October 2010. From this study it was found that when the canopy was dry, the sap flow measurements mirrored the transpiration rate of plants with reasonable accuracy, overestimating the transpiration rate by about 11%. The measurements showed no evidence of time lag between sap flow and transpiration.  Following wetting of the plant canopy the sap flow declined rapidly reflecting a decline in the transpiration rate transpiration and sap flow. Location of the sap flow gage on the stem was seen to be a factor with gages at different heights giving different sap flow rates again due to the buffering capacity of the stem. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jas.v2i2.6134


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Copyright (c) 2014 Jasim Uddin, Rod Smith, Nigel Hancock, Joseph Foley

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

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