Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 53, Issue 1–3, pp 123–133 | Cite as

Soil moisture variation and plant water stress at the Hartheim Scots pine plantation

  • N. Sturm
  • S. Reber
  • A. Kessler
  • J. D. Tenhunen


During two measurement campaigns in 1992 (the Hartheim Experiment HartX- and an additional experiment in autumn), measurements of soil moisture were carried out in aPinus sylvestris stand at Hartheim on the Oberrhein. Several methods were used to determine soil water status. They were compared in terms of suitability for estimating stand evapotranspiration (ET) via soil water depletion. Measurements of tree water potential suggested that conductance of the trees was affected by soil water depletion during the period of the HartX campaign in spring 1992. We interpret the observations to indicate a lesser influence of soil water availability on tree transpiration during the autumn experiment.

Eddy correlation and xylem sapflow measurements provided reference ET values with which to compare the stand ET calculations based on soil moisture measurements. Profile measurements of soil moisture showed that particularly in springtime when the lower soil layers are saturated with water, the water transport from depths below the major rooting zone is a very important factor affecting evaluation of stand ET. Decreases in soil water storage may be determined best with permanently installed soil moisture sensors such as used in tensiometric or TDR measurements that provide high resolution of changes over time.


Soil Moisture Soil Water Soil Water Availability Soil Water Storage Soil Water Status 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Sturm
    • 1
    • 3
  • S. Reber
    • 2
  • A. Kessler
    • 1
  • J. D. Tenhunen
    • 3
  1. 1.MIF, Meteorologisches InstitutUniversität FreiburgGermany
  2. 2.MCRLab, Geographisches InstitutUniversität BaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Bayreuther Institut für Terrestrische Ökosystemforschung (BITÖK)Universität BayreuthGermany

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