Interception and soil evaporation within loblolly pine and American sweetgum stands
Vining, Justin Arthur
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Short-rotation woody crops are a staple in the economics of forestry in the Southeastern United States. With increasing demand for water supplies, accurate measurements of water use in forested areas are vital for proper planning. We measured precipitation, throughfall, soil moisture storage, and lysimeter drainage to estimate interception and soil evaporation among typical forest-crop plots using a variety of methods. Results indicate a small difference in seasonal soil evaporation between the deciduous (American sweetgum) and evergreen (loblolly pine) species used here. Results also showed substantial differences in soil evaporation when compared to unvegetated plots of the same size. Interception among plots was significantly different (α=0.05) in the growing months, and loblolly intercepted 2.2% more precipitation than sweetgum over winter. Conclusions point to 1) the importance of soil cover to an area’s hydrologic water budget, and 2) that little difference in annual evaporation rate is evident between loblolly and sweetgum.