When two trees of the same species are close to one another, they are able to undertake Hydraulic Coupling which allows the sharing of water between the trees. This was evident from the experiment that investigated the sap flow movement between a leafless Kauri tree remnant and conspecific hosts in Newland.
When two trees of the same species are close to one another, they are able to undertake Hydraulic Coupling. The use and applications of the SFM1 evidently provided data that detects there is water movement or flow between a Leafless Kauri Tree Remnant to Conspecific Hosts. The ICT international SFM1 (heat ratio method) was used to measure sap flow. Two sensors installed at 35 cm (vertical) and 40 cm height (horizontal) in the living stump and one sensor each at breast height in two neighboring adult trees.
Commentary on the research
Given that the experiment was conducted to assess only the water sharing that would happen between neighboring trees, the results could only implicate physiological significance rather than ecological nature. Therefore, replications of similar pattern of measurements would improve the understanding of the hydraulic coupling of neighboring trees.
Dr Martin Bader and Assoc. Prof. Sebastian Leuzinger from Auckland University of Technology have found that when two trees of the same species are close to one another, they are able to undertake Hydraulic Coupling – that is share water, carbon, minerals and microorganisms.
From the data that these instruments captured, Bader and Leuzinger were able to observe the movement of the sap between the stump and the tree.
The SFM1 Sap Flow Meter can measure very low sap flow and reverse sap flow. This enabled measurement of sap flow toward the tree in day time and reversal of flow toward the stump at night. The hydraulic gradient as measured by the PSY1 Stem Psychrometer reversed from day to night and hence the direction of flow reversed from day to night in relationship to this measured hydraulic gradient.
The SFM1x Sap Flow Meter can be used to calculate daily water use, based on the Sap Velocity.
Read more about the calculations in the Knowledge Base here