Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.9 MB)

Title: A procedure for calculating daily moisture stress and its utility in regressions of growth and weather

Author: Zahner, Robert; Stage, Albert R.;

Date: 1966

Source: Ecology. 47(1): 64-74.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: A method is described for computing daily values of moisture stress on forest vegetation, or water deficits, based on the differences between Thornthwaite's potential evapotranspiration and computed soil-moisture depletion. More realistic functions are used for soil-moisture depletion on specific soil types than have been customary. These functions relate daily rates of depletion to characteristics of soil-moisture tension. Separate functions account for surface soil wetting and drying processes following rain and during dry periods. Two methods of summarizing the day-by-day distribution of moisture stress are illustrated. One utilizes directly accumulated stress values during such logical growth intervals as periods of leaf flushing or bud setting. In an example of a regression of red pine shoot growth on water deficits, 72% of the variation in annual growth was accounted for by moisture stress during certain periods of both previous and current growing seasons. The second method computes moisture stress and weather variables as functions of time over two growing seasons and utilizes the coefficients of orthogonal polynomials as independent variables in regressions of growth. In an example of western white pine basal area growth utilizing this latter method, moisture stress accounted for a 28% reduction in the variance of growth remaining after the effects of temperature and precipitation per se had been removed. The complete model accounted for 78% of the total variation.

Keywords: daily moisture stress, forest vegetation, water deficits

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Zahner, Robert; Stage, Albert R. 1966. A procedure for calculating daily moisture stress and its utility in regressions of growth and weather. Ecology. 47(1): 64-74.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.