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Title: Factors affecting diurnal stem contraction in young Douglas-fir

Author: Devine, Warren D.; Harrington, Constance;

Date: 2011

Source: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 151: 414-419

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Diurnal fluctuation in a tree's stem diameter is a function of daily growth and of the tree's water balance, as water is temporarily stored in the relatively elastic outer cambial and phloem tissues. On a very productive site in southwestern Washington, U.S.A we used recording dendrometers to monitor stem diameter fluctuations of Douglas-fir at plantation ages 7 and 8 and related the fluctuations to environmental variables measured on-site. Growing-season diurnal stem contraction (DSC) averaged 0.21% of stem diameter, while dormant-season DSC averaged 0.03% of stem diameter. Maximum daily stem diameter generally occurred between 7:00 and 9:00 Pacific Standard Time (PST) and minimum stem diameter occurred between 17:00 and 20:00 PST. Diurnal stem contraction during the growing season was predicted by a model that included vapor pressure deficit and solar radiation (adjusted R2 = 0.84). A similar model predicted DSC during the dormant season with an adjusted R2 = 0.26. Soil water availability was high, and soil water content was not correlated with DSC. On four of the coldest winter days (mean daytime air temperature <0 oC), large decreases in stem diameter were observed. Recording dendrometers used for continuous diameter measurements throughout the growing season, have the potential to provide important information not only on tree growth but also on a tree's water balance.

Keywords: Douglas-fir, dendrometer, vapor pressure deficit, solar radiation, water balance, transpiration

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Devine, Warren D.; Harrington, Constance A. 2011. Factors affecting diurnal stem contraction in young Douglas-fir. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 151: 414-419.


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