UBC Theses and Dissertations
Evapotranspiration and surface conductance for a high elevation, grass covered forest clearcut Adams, Ralph S.
Evapotranspiration from a forest clearcut was measured over two growing seasons as part of a larger study of the microclimate of forest clearcuts and microclimate modification by site preparation. Pinegrass is the dominant species on clearcuts in the dry southern interior and is the major competitor with coniferous seedlings. This paper examines the water use of a pinegrass dominated clearcut and the response of surface conductance to environmental variables. Evapotranspiration was derived from eddy correlation measurements of sensible heat flux and measurements of net radiation and soil heat flux. 419 hours of daytime energy balance data from the summers of 1987 and 1988 were analyzed. A rearranged form of the Penman-Monteith equation was used to calculate hourly mean surface conductances for the clearcut. Leaf area measurements were used to calculate stomatal conductance from surface conductances. Stomatal conductance was modelled using boundary-line and non-linear optimization techniques. The most successful model (R² = 0.71) was obtained using non-linear optimization with stomatal conductance as a non-linear function of saturation deficit at the leaf surface (D₀) and solar irradiance. D₀ was calculated from measured evapotranspiration and surface conductance. Response of stomata to saturation deficit would be expected to be better correlated to D₀ than D measured at a reference height above the canopy. Stomatal conductance was also modelled as a function of D (measured at 1.3 m) and solar irradiance. The resulting model (R² = 0.50) was poor compared to that based on D₀. Saturation deficit and temperature were found to be highly correlated both at 1.3 m above the canopy and at the leaf surface. Use of air temperature in the conductance model caused R² to decrease. No relationship between stomatal conductance and volumetric soil water content was found. Hourly evapotranspiration rates calculated using modelled surface conductances agreed well with measured rates.(R² = 0.89). Evapotranspiration was also modelled using the Priestley-Taylor approach. The mean hourly a for all daylight data was found to be 0.81. This simple model was found to give comparable results to the stomatal conductance based model (R² = 0.85).
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