Assessing evapotranspiration rates of a Mid-Atlantic red maple riparian wetland using sap flow sensors.
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Riparian forests are unique due to increased exposure of trees to winds and radiation and the subsequent effects on the quality and quantity of water discharge from the system. Since "edge effects" can enhance evapotranspiration (ET) of exposed trees, ET rates of a first-order red maple riparian wetland were assessed with thermal dissipation probes during the 2002 growing season to address: a) if edge trees transpire more water daily than interior trees, b) correlations among sap flow rates and energy balance-derived estimates, c) variations in ecosystem ET estimates based on 6 scaling variables, and d) diurnal correlations between maximum sap flow rates and streamflow losses. Results from this study indicate that: a) edge trees transpire more water daily than interior trees during early summer, b) choice of scaling variable affects estimation of ecosystem ET rates, and c) maximum sap flow rates correlate with streamflow losses diurnally under specific environmental conditions.