Transpiration and conductance responses of salt-desert vegetaion in the Owens Valley of California in relation to climate and soil moisture

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/191164
Title:
Transpiration and conductance responses of salt-desert vegetaion in the Owens Valley of California in relation to climate and soil moisture
Author:
Warren, Daniel Cram.
Issue Date:
1991
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Work presented in this dissertation was performed in the salt-desert environment of the Owens Valley of California. The area experiences low-rainfall, hot summers, but has a high water table, seldom more than 5 meters from the surface. To test differences in plant species wateruse, a steady-state porometer was used for transpiration measurements while a 2-meter point-frame was used to estimate leaf area index on each species studied. The five species studied (Atriplex torreyi, Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Distichlis stricta, Sporobolus airoides, and Sarcobatus vermiculatus) varied with regard to photosynthetic pathways and leaf morphology. Water-use differences among species are hypothesized to be related to the differing physiological and morphological characteristics observed in the different species studied. This work focuses upon methods for integrating porometric transpiration rates and point-frame measured leaf area to estimate daily plant water-use. Daily water-use values are correlated with environmental growth conditions. A computer program was developed for scenario testing so that conclusions could be drawn concerning how given plants respond to different conditions of soil moisture and atmospheric evaporative demand. The computer-aided calculations led to conclusions that low water-use behavior characterizes A. torreyi, and high water-use behavior characterizes C. nauseosus. C4 photosynthesis and low leaf conductance may contribute to the success of A. torreyi on fine-textured soils when water transfer rates to roots are limiting to transpiration. Fine-textured soils may inhibit production in C. nauseosus because the species requires higher rates of transpiration to achieve optimal growth than soil hydraulic conductivity allows. These conclusions have implications for land managers who should recognize that climax plant communities in saltdesert regions are better at conserving water and stabilizing soil than is colonizing vegetation. Management should seek to maintain climax vegetation cover because restoration is difficult once vegetation disturbance occurs.
Type:
Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic); text
Keywords:
Hydrology.; Plants -- California -- Owens Valley -- Transpiration.; Evapotranspiration -- California -- Owens Valley -- Transpiration.; Plants -- Water requirements -- California -- Owens Valley.; Plant-water relationships -- California -- Owens Valley.; Groundwater -- California -- Owens Valley.; Salt flats -- California -- Owens Valley.; Vegetation and climate.; Soil moisture.
Degree Name:
Ph. D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Renewable Natural Resources; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Fogel, Martin M.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleTranspiration and conductance responses of salt-desert vegetaion in the Owens Valley of California in relation to climate and soil moistureen_US
dc.creatorWarren, Daniel Cram.en_US
dc.contributor.authorWarren, Daniel Cram.en_US
dc.date.issued1991en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractWork presented in this dissertation was performed in the salt-desert environment of the Owens Valley of California. The area experiences low-rainfall, hot summers, but has a high water table, seldom more than 5 meters from the surface. To test differences in plant species wateruse, a steady-state porometer was used for transpiration measurements while a 2-meter point-frame was used to estimate leaf area index on each species studied. The five species studied (Atriplex torreyi, Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Distichlis stricta, Sporobolus airoides, and Sarcobatus vermiculatus) varied with regard to photosynthetic pathways and leaf morphology. Water-use differences among species are hypothesized to be related to the differing physiological and morphological characteristics observed in the different species studied. This work focuses upon methods for integrating porometric transpiration rates and point-frame measured leaf area to estimate daily plant water-use. Daily water-use values are correlated with environmental growth conditions. A computer program was developed for scenario testing so that conclusions could be drawn concerning how given plants respond to different conditions of soil moisture and atmospheric evaporative demand. The computer-aided calculations led to conclusions that low water-use behavior characterizes A. torreyi, and high water-use behavior characterizes C. nauseosus. C4 photosynthesis and low leaf conductance may contribute to the success of A. torreyi on fine-textured soils when water transfer rates to roots are limiting to transpiration. Fine-textured soils may inhibit production in C. nauseosus because the species requires higher rates of transpiration to achieve optimal growth than soil hydraulic conductivity allows. These conclusions have implications for land managers who should recognize that climax plant communities in saltdesert regions are better at conserving water and stabilizing soil than is colonizing vegetation. Management should seek to maintain climax vegetation cover because restoration is difficult once vegetation disturbance occurs.en_US
dc.description.notehydrology collectionen_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.subjectHydrology.en_US
dc.subjectPlants -- California -- Owens Valley -- Transpiration.en_US
dc.subjectEvapotranspiration -- California -- Owens Valley -- Transpiration.en_US
dc.subjectPlants -- Water requirements -- California -- Owens Valley.en_US
dc.subjectPlant-water relationships -- California -- Owens Valley.en_US
dc.subjectGroundwater -- California -- Owens Valley.en_US
dc.subjectSalt flats -- California -- Owens Valley.en_US
dc.subjectVegetation and climate.en_US
dc.subjectSoil moisture.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineRenewable Natural Resourcesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairFogel, Martin M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGay, Lloyd W.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGuertin, D. Phillipen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKlemmedson, James O.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRoundy, Bruce A.en_US
dc.identifier.oclc212628117en_US
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