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TRACC: an open source software for processing sap flux data from thermal dissipation probes

Abstract

Key message

TRACC is an open-source software for standardizing the cleaning, conversion, and calibration of sap flux density data from thermal dissipation probes, which addresses issues of nighttime transpiration and water storage.

Abstract

Thermal dissipation probes (TDPs) have become a widely used method of monitoring plant water use in recent years. The use of TDPs requires calibration to a theoretical zero-flow value (∆T 0); usually based upon the assumption that at least some nighttime measurements represent zero-flow conditions. Fully automating the processing of data from TDPs is made exceedingly difficult due to errors arising from many sources. However, it is desirable to minimize variation arising from different researchers’ processing data, and thus, a common platform for processing data, including editing raw data and determination of ∆T 0, is useful and increases the transparency and replicability of TDP-based research. Here, we present the TDP data processing software TRACC (Thermal dissipation Review Assessment Cleaning and Conversion) to serve this purpose. TRACC is an open-source software written in the language R, using graphical presentation of data and on screen prompts with yes/no or simple numerical responses. It allows the user to select several important options, such as calibration coefficients and the exclusion of nights when vapor pressure deficit does not approach zero. Although it is designed for users with no coding experience, the outputs of TRACC could be easily incorporated into more complex models or software.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge primary financial support of this research by the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation project (PINEMAP), which is a Coordinated Agricultural Project funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Award #2011-68002-30185. This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725, NICCR award 08-SC-NICCR-1072, and TES awards 7090112 and 11-DE-SC-0006700. Support was also the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (awards 13-JV-11330110-081, 13-CA-11330155-047) and USDA NIFA 2014-67003-22068.

This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).

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Correspondence to Eric J. Ward.

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Communicated by A.C. Franco.

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Ward, E.J., Domec, JC., King, J. et al. TRACC: an open source software for processing sap flux data from thermal dissipation probes. Trees 31, 1737–1742 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-017-1556-0

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Keywords

  • Thermal dissipation probes
  • Sap flux
  • Ecohydrology
  • Open source software
  • Transpiration