Tracking temporal changes of moisture content in southern yellow pines using time-domain reflectometery
White, Robert Blaine
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Moisture storage in living trees is fundamental to tree health and poorly understood due to the destructive nature of most sampling methods. Low cost systems that continuously monitor moisture content (MC) of standing trees are required. Time-domain reflectometry (TDR) was explored as an option to monitor moisture content (MC) of standing trees. TDR data was collected from 10 Pinus elliottii Engelm. (slash pine) and 10 Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) trees on the Lower Coastal Plain and 10 P. taeda from the Piedmont on a weekly basis for one year. Site specific calibrations were used to predict MC, but owing to a pronounced wound response it was not possible to accurately track changes in whole-tree MC with time. If calibrations more oriented toward living trees can be obtained I believe TDR could be used to monitor temporal changes in standing tree MC.