Quantification of uncertainties in conifer sap flow measured with the thermal dissipation method

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

DOI

  • Richard L. Peters, Basel Univ, Dept Environm Sci Bot
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  • Patrick Fonti, Swiss Fed Res Inst WSL, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow & Landscape Research, Dynam Macroecol
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  • David C. Frank, Univ Bern, University of Bern, Oeschger Ctr Climate Change Res
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  • Rafael Poyatos, Univ Ghent, Ghent University, Fac Biosci Engn, Dept Plants & Crops, Plant Ecol Lab
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  • Christoforos Pappas, Univ Montreal, University of Montreal, Ctr Etud Nord
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  • Ansgar Kahmen, Basel Univ, Dept Environm Sci Bot
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  • Vinicio Carraro, Univ Padua, University of Padua, Dept TeSAF Terr & Sistemi Agroforestali
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  • Angela Luisa Prendin
  • Loic Schneider, Swiss Fed Res Inst WSL, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow & Landscape Research, Dynam Macroecol
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  • Jennifer L. Baltzer, Wilfrid Laurier Univ, Wilfrid Laurier University, Dept Biol
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  • Greg A. Baron-Gafford, Univ Arizona, University of Arizona, Sch Geog & Dev
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  • Lars Dietrich, Basel Univ, Dept Environm Sci Bot
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  • Ingo Heinrich, Helmholtz Ctr Potsdam, Helmholtz Association, Helmholtz-Center Potsdam GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, GFZ German Res Ctr Geosci Climate Dynam & Landsca
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  • Rebecca L. Minor, Univ Arizona, University of Arizona, Sch Geog & Dev
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  • Oliver Sonnentag, Univ Montreal, University of Montreal, Ctr Etud Nord
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  • Ashley M. Matheny, Jackson Sch Geosci, Dept Geol Sci
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  • Maxwell G. Wightman, Oregon State Univ, Oregon University System, Oregon State University, Coll Forestry
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  • Kathy Steppe, Univ Ghent, Ghent University, Fac Biosci Engn, Dept Plants & Crops, Plant Ecol Lab

Trees play a key role in the global hydrological cycle and measurements performed with the thermal dissipation method (TDM) have been crucial in providing whole-tree water-use estimates. Yet, different data processing to calculate whole-tree water use encapsulates uncertainties that have not been systematically assessed. We quantified uncertainties in conifer sap flux density (F-d) and stand water use caused by commonly applied methods for deriving zero-flow conditions, dampening and sensor calibration. Their contribution has been assessed using a stem segment calibration experiment and 4yr of TDM measurements in Picea abies and Larix decidua growing in contrasting environments. Uncertainties were then projected on TDM data from different conifers across the northern hemisphere. Commonly applied methods mostly underestimated absolute F-d. Lacking a site- and species-specific calibrations reduced our stand water-use measurements by 37% and induced uncertainty in northern hemisphere F-d. Additionally, although the interdaily variability was maintained, disregarding dampening and/or applying zero-flow conditions that ignored night-time water use reduced the correlation between environment and F-d. The presented ensemble of calibration curves and proposed dampening correction, together with the systematic quantification of data-processing uncertainties, provide crucial steps in improving whole-tree water-use estimates across spatial and temporal scales.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume219
Issue4
Pages (from-to)1283-1299
Number of pages17
ISSN0028-646X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

    Research areas

  • calibration, night-time transpiration, sap flux density, thermal dissipation probes, transpiration, uncertainty analysis, wounding effects, NATURAL TEMPERATURE-GRADIENTS, FLUX-DENSITY MEASUREMENTS, STEM DIAMETER VARIATIONS, DIFFUSE-POROUS TREES, WATER-USE, HEAT-PULSE, PICEA-ABIES, FOREST EVAPOTRANSPIRATION, STOMATAL CONDUCTANCE, SAPFLOW MEASUREMENTS

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