The Case of Yatir Forest

  • Gabriel SchillerEmail author
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 212)


Pinus halepensis (Mill.) forest canopy transpiration was measured, using the heat-pulse method, in a forest plantation growing under semi-arid climatic conditions at the edge of the Israeli Negev desert, during 3 successive hydrological years (2003–2006). The daily transpiration rates were related to soil water content and ambient meteorological parameters measured by the flux tower erected in the geographical centre of the forest. The overall measured and estimated canopy transpiration (Tcanopy) of 300 trees ha−1 summed to 148, 181 and 135 mm year−1, representing ∼65%, ∼48% and ∼60%, respectively, of the annual rainfall in the hydrological years 2003–2004, 2004–2005, 2005–2006. Summed daily Tcanopy during the measurement periods in the 3 hydrological years constituted ∼59%, ∼51%, and ∼70%, respectively, of the summed ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET, mm day−1) during the day (0600–1,900 h); furthermore, summed daily Tcanopy constituted ∼14%, ∼20% and ∼15%, respectively, of the summed potential evapotranspiration (PET, mm day−1). The importance of rain-storm intensity, in addition to rain-storm amounts, in this semi-arid area was revealed. The hydrological years 2003–2004 and 2005–2006 had similar rain amounts of 231 and 224 mm, respectively, but very different storm intensities: hence, very different impacts on the soil profile water content were observed, resulting in very different daily transpiration (T) rates and different T/PET ratios. Slope aspect influences on daily Tcanopy rates were more pronounced in droughty years. Trees growing on north-facing slopes transpired less than those on the plateau or south-facing slopes, a situation which enables fine-tuning of the stocking density on the different slope aspects.


Transpiration Rate Slope Aspect Pinus Halepensis Flux Tower Provenance Trial 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural ResourcesAgricultural Research Organization, the Volcani CentreBet DaganIsrael

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