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Sap Flow and Monitoring Trees in an Urban Park

November 25, 2013 9:22 am

A common sap flow application is to monitor urban or heritage trees for their health. Increasingly, scientists are recognising that urban trees can also affect local hydrology. Now, sap flow equipment is being used to quantify tree water use in urban parklands to determine their contribution to urban hydrology.

A study by scientists at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, in Centennial Parklands, eastern Sydney, is seeking to quantify whole tree water use and relating this to other processes in the parklands. The SFM1 Sap Flow Meter was installed on 3 common species in the parkland: Hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), Tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys), and Port Jackson fig (Ficus rubiginosa). Not only are these trees a common component of Centennial Parklands, but are also contributing to the vegetation dynamics of the endanged community, the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. Monitoring sap flow in this context will improve our knowledge of the hydrology of this park, but also contribute to our knowledge of the dynamics of species interactions in the endangered vegetation community.

Installing SFM1 Sap Flow Meter on a Hoop Pine:



The SFM1 Sap Flow Meter installed on the Hoop Pine:



A student from UNSW installing the SFM1 Sap Flow Meter on a Tallowood:



Centennial Parklands has many massive and beautiful fig trees. The sap flow on these figs are being monitored to determine their total tree water use and contribution to the park’s hydrology: