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Coupled Soil, Vegetation, Atmosphere Interactions of Two Dominant Riparian Vegetation CommunitiesEPA Grant Number: U914943
Title: Coupled Soil, Vegetation, Atmosphere Interactions of Two Dominant Riparian Vegetation Communities
Investigators: Scott, Russell L.
Institution: University of Arizona
EPA Project Officer: Manty, Dale
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through January 1, 1999
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1996) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Geology , Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration
The objective of this research project is Tto determine the magnitude and sources for the water and energy fluxes over two prevalent vegetation biomes in a semiarid riparian corridor in the southwestern U.S. The two adjacent sites of interest are: (1) a perennial, floodplain bunch-grass -- giant sacaton (Sporobolus wrightii),; and (2) a tree/shrub area dominated by mesquite (Prosopis velutina).
Two vegetation study areas on the intact, riparian corridor of the Upper San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona were chosen as the field sites for the studyproject. To estimate the amount of evaporation coming from these two sites, meteorological towers have been established. These towers were outfitted with a set of standard meteorological instruments to measure the air temperature, relative humidity, incoming solar radiation, air pressure, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation. Additionally, the towers were equipped with instruments to measure the available energy and Bowen ratio. With these instruments, the amount of energy (or water) at the land surface that is consumed by the evaporation process was determined over the course of several seasons. In order tTo understand the controls on the surface partitioning of energy, soil moisture probes were installed in a vertical profile to measure the soil moisture under the vegetation. Also, piezometers were used to measure the fluctuations in the groundwater table.