• Rainfall interception by selected plants in the Chihuahuan Desert

      Wood, M. K.; Jones, T. L.; Vera-Cruz, M. T. (Society for Range Management, 1998-01-01)
      Water budget modeling usually requires quantification of all possible processes of the hydrologic cycle. This includes rainfall interception. The purpose of this study was to estimate the potential amounts of water transferred back to the atmosphere from interception for some common plants found in the Chihuahuan desert. Fifty plants of many sizes representing 10 common species of the Chihuahuan Desert were chosen for evaluation. Plants were submerged in a 2 X 2 m tank filled with water. After submersion, the plants were weighed, and the difference in weight was recorded as the maximum water storage capacity of the plant's canopy. Plants were also measured for maximum and minimum crown diameter (cm), height (cm), green weight (g) at time of submersion, and oven-dry weight (g). The forb, grass, and shrub species had different variables included in the prediction equations. Dry and green weight were the 2 variables which appear to have the strongest relationship with the amount of water intercepted for all species. Of the 7 grass species evaluated, dry and green weight were part of all equations, and height was included in only 2 equations.