Bayreuther Institut für Terrestrische Ökosystemforschung
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Alsheimer, M; Köstner, B; Falge, E; Tenhunen, JD: Temporal and spatial variation in transpiration of Norway spruce stands within a forested catchment of the Fichtelgebirge, Germany, Annales des Sciences Forestières, 55, 103-123 (1998)
Tree transpiration was observed with sapflow methods in six Norway spruce (Picea abies) stands located in the Lehstenbach catchment, Fichtelgebirge, Germany, differing in age (40 years up to 140 years), structure, exposition, and soil characteristics. The seasonal pattern in tree canopy transpiration, with the highest transpiration rates in July, was very similar among the stands. However, young dense stands had higher transpiration compared to older less dense stands. Because of forest management practices, stand density decreases with increasing stand age and provides the best predictor of canopy water use. Measured xylem sapflux density did not differ significantly among stands, e.g., vary in correlation with stand density. Thus, differences in canopy transpiration were related to differences in cumulative sapwood area, which decreases with age and at lower tree density. While both total sapwood area and individual tree sapwood area decreases in older less dense stands, leaf area index of the stands remains high. Thus, transpiration or physiological activity of the average individual needle must decrease. Simulations with a 3-dimensional stand model suggest that stand structural changes influence light climate and reduce the activity of the average needle in the stands. Nevertheless, age and nutrition must be considered with respect to additional direct effects on canopy transpiration.
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