Irrigation Science

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 1265–1276 | Cite as

Night-time sap flow is parabolically linked to midday water potential for field-grown almond trees

  • S. FuentesEmail author
  • M. Mahadevan
  • M. Bonada
  • M. A. Skewes
  • J. W. Cox
Original Paper


To quantify night-time (S n) and diurnal (S d) tree water uptake, two sets of sap flow sensors (heat-pulse compensated) were installed per tree in the north-east and south-west sides of the trunk in three trees per treatment. There were two treatments: (1) control, irrigated with 100 % ETc (T100), and (2) deficit, irrigated at 60 % ETc (T60) with daily irrigations at the peak atmospheric demand (December–January). Normalised S n by trees was in the range of 15–25 % throughout the season, compared to normalised S d, for T100 and T60, respectively. Furthermore, S n was parabolically correlated to plant water status from the previous day, measured as midday stem water potential. We also found strong correlations between S n and nocturnal vapour pressure deficit for T100 and T60, indicating that nocturnal transpiration was significant for both treatments. Differences in S n were observed for the NE and SW sensors for T60, being significantly less for the NE side (sunny side) compared to the SW side (more shaded). No differences were observed for T100 regarding probe positioning.


Vapour Pressure Deficit Irrigation Treatment Regulate Deficit Irrigation Stem Water Potential Parabolic Relationship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to acknowledge Almond Board of Australia, Berri, South Australia, for funding the project on “Minimising environmental foot prints from irrigated almonds by using new method and tools” of which the sap flow studies reported here were a part. We would also like to acknowledge Ben Brown and Brett Rosenzweig from the Almond Board of Australia for all their support and assistance for the experiment.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Fuentes
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Mahadevan
    • 2
  • M. Bonada
    • 1
    • 3
  • M. A. Skewes
    • 4
  • J. W. Cox
    • 1
  1. 1.Melbourne School of Land and EnvironmentUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.South Australian Research and Development InstituteAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Estación Experimental MendozaInstituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA)Luján de CuyoArgentina
  4. 4.Loxton Research CentreSouth Australian Research and Development InstituteLoxtonAustralia

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