Browsing Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Volume 07 (1977) by Subjects
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Diurnal Trends in Water Status, Transpiration, and Photosynthesis of SaltcedarRelative water content (RWC), water potential (P), and gas exchange were measured on saltcedar at the Bernardo, New Mexico, lysimeter site. RWC and s were closely correlated; but, water potential measurements, taken with a pressure bomb, were more convenient and reliable. RWC and r decreased sharply from sunup until about 0900, when minimum values of about -26 bars T or 80% RWC were reached. Water status then remained constant or improved slightly through late afternoon. Transpiration rates typically remained high until about noon and then began a steady, gradual decrease that continued throughout the afternoon. The data suggest that water stress may be a factor in initiating stomatal closure; however, transpiration continued to decline despite a constant or improved leaf water status. Maximum net photosynthetic rates occurred by 0900, and depressions throughout the remainder of the day were largely accounted for by increased leaf temperatures. Afternoon depressions in transpiration and photosynthesis occurred in twigs held at constant temperature and relative humidity, suggesting that a diurnal rhythm may be involved in control of gas exchange. Water status of plants growing on the lysimeters was comparable to that of plants in adjacent natural stands; gas exchange rates were slightly higher for the lysimeter-grown plants.
Reducing Phreatophyte TranspirationTranspiration 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.