• Reducing Phreatophyte Transpiration

      Davenport, David C.; Department of Land Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1977-04-16)
      Transpiration rates (T) of riparian phreatophytes can be high. Antitranspirant (AT) sprays can curtail T without the ecological imbalance made by eradication. Saltcedar (Tamarix sp.) and cottonwood (Populus sp.) in 15-gal. drums enabled replicated trials on isolated plants or on canopies. T of isolate saltcedar plants could be 2x that of plants in a fairly dense canopy. T for a unit ground area of saltcedar varied from 2.2 (sparse -) to 15.8 (dense-stand) mm/day in July at Davis. Extrapolation of experimental T data to field sites must, therefore, be made carefully. Wax -based ATs increased foliar diffusive resistance (R), and reduced T of saltcedar and cottonwood 32-38% initially and 10% after 3 weeks. R increased naturally in the afternoon when evaporative demand was high and if soil water was low. Nocturnal T of salt cedar was 10% of day T. AT effectiveness increased with a higher ratio of day: night hours, and with lower soil water stress. Therefore, AT will be most effective on long summer days in riparian areas where ground water is available.