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Harvard Forest REU Symposium Abstract 2017

  • Title: Monitoring Transpiration with Automated Sap Flow Sensor System to Validate Ground-Based Synthetic Radar
  • Author: Valentin Degtyarev (University of Massachusetts - Amherst )
  • Abstract:

    Transpiration is a fundamental process which is crucial to a forest’s growth and development through its cooling and distribution of nutrients to different portions of the plant. The engineers working with Harvard Forest’s aerial tram site have developed two methods of collecting data on the flow of water through a forest’s plants, soil, and atmosphere. One technique uses the Ground-Based Synthetic Radar to measure the water content of vegetation based on the dielectric properties of water. The second approach uses a Sap Flow Sensor System which analyzes the flow of sap within tree trunks. The overarching goal is to upgrade the previous Sap Flow Sensor System and enhance the reliability, consistency, and accuracy of both the data and the system itself. The system’s power source was redesigned to be more durable and consistent, which will result in continuous data collection over a long period of time. The Sap Flow Sensor circuitry has been enhanced so that connecting multiple sensors over long distances would continue to produce accurate results. Once enough data has been collected, the next step is to find similarities between the two techniques to verify that both are effective ways of measuring the transpiration process within a forest. If the radar data shows a strong correlation to the Sap Flow Sensor data, then the Ground-Based Synthetic Radar could become an effective tool used by other researchers as a simple way of examining water content and forest health.

  • Research Category: Forest-Atmosphere Exchange