As part of an effort to understand the root-water-nutrient interactions in the multi-dimensional soil/vegetation system surrounding large trees, in August 2008 we instrumented a mature white fir (Abies concolor) and the surrounding soil to better define the water balance in a single tree. In July 2010, we instrumented a second tree, a Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in shallower soils on a drier, exposed slope. The trees are located in a mixed-conifer forest at an elevation of 2000m in the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory. The deployment of more than 250 sensors to measure temperature, volumetric water content, matric potential, and snow depth surrounding the two trees complements sap-flow measurements in the trunk and stem-water-potential measurements in the canopy to capture the seasonal cycles of soil wetting and drying. We show here the results of a multi-year deployment of soil moisture sensors as critical integrators of hydrologic/ biotic interaction in a forested catchment. Sensor networks such as deployed here are a valuable tool in closing the water budget in dynamic forested catchments. While the exchange of energy, water and carbon is continuous, the pertinent fluxes are strongly heterogeneous in both space and time. Thus, the prediction of the behavior of the system across multiple scales constitutes a major challenge.
Hartsough, P.C., Malazian, A., Meadows, M.W., Roudneva, K., Storch, J., Bales, R.C., Hopmans, J.W. (2010): Soil Moisture/ Tree Water Status Dynamics in Mid-Latitude Montane Forest, Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory, CA. Fall meeting, American Geophysical Union, December 2010. Abstract H11G-0894..
Critical Zone Tree 2 - Soil Moisture, Soil Temperature, Electrical Conductivity, Matric Potential, Sap Flow (2010-2012)
10 components • Providence Creek Headwater Catchments (1660 - 2115 m elevation) • Hydrology, Biology / Ecology • Peter Hartsough; Jan Hopmans