Quantifying the Magnitude and Duration of Tree Water Stress

Carried out by: Forest Research

Summary Description:

Drought-induced, radial-longitudinal stem cracks are a consequence of meteorological drought. Sitka spruce stands in North-East of Scotland have been reported to have suffered cracks due to hot and dry summers. Since then, these areas have been classified as high drought risk mainly because of their freely-drain soil. However, very little is known about the physiological water stress trees are experiencing. This project will quantify the magnitude and duration of water stress of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum of Sitka spruce in two locations to evaluate the role of water stress in stem cracks. The researchers will use the latest technology in the "Internet of Things" sensors with a newly developed method of quantifying water stress based on electric circuit theory. Evidence  will be proviedd for areas where trees are experiencing water stress, leading to potential stem cracks.

Timescale: 2023-2025

SFT Funds Awarded: £6,779

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