Science Inventory

SPECIES-SPECIFIC PARTITIONING OF SOIL WATER RESOURCES IN AN OLD-GROWTH DOUGLAS-FIR/WESTERN HEMLOCK FOREST

Citation:

MEINZER, F. C., J. M. WARREN, AND BROOKS. SPECIES-SPECIFIC PARTITIONING OF SOIL WATER RESOURCES IN AN OLD-GROWTH DOUGLAS-FIR/WESTERN HEMLOCK FOREST. TREE PHYSIOLOGY. Heron Publishing, Victoria, B.C, Canada, 27:8711-880, (2007).

Impact/Purpose:

To better understand the partitioning of soil water resources among co-occurring tree species

Description:

Although tree- and stand-level estimates of forest water use are increasingly common, relatively little is known about partitioning of soil water resources among co-occurring tree species. We studied seasonal courses of soil water utilization in a 450-year-old Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco-Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg. forest in southwestern Washington State. Soil volumetric water content (¿) was continuously monitored with frequency domain capacitance sensors installed at eight depths from 0.2 to 2 m at four locations in the vicinity of each species. Vertical profiles of root distribution and seasonal and daily courses of hydraulic redistribution (HR), sap flow and tree water status were also measured. Mean root area in the upper 60 cm of soil was significantly greater in the vicinity of T. heterophylla trees. However, seasonal water extraction on a root area basis was significantly greater near P. menziesii trees at all depths between 15 and 65 cm, leading to significantly lower water storage in the upper 65 cm of soil near P. menziesii trees at the end of the summer dry season. Greater apparent efficiency of P. menziesii roots at extracting soil water was attributable to a greater driving force for water uptake rather than to differences in root hydraulic properties between the species. The dependence of HR on ¿ was similar in soil near individuals of both species, but seasonal maximum rates of HR were greater in soil near P. menziesii because minimum values of ¿ were lower, implying a steeper water potential gradient between the upper and lower soil that acted as a driving force for water efflux from shallow roots. The results provide information on functional traits relevant for understanding the ecological distributions of these species and have implications for spatial variability of processes such as soil respiration and nutrient cycling.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 03/01/2007
Record Last Revised: 09/04/2007
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 158958

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

RISK CHARACTERIZATION BRANCH