Exploring Environmental Factors That Drive Diel Variations in Tree Water Storage Using Wavelet Analysis Journal Article uri icon



  • Internal water storage within trees can be a critical reservoir that helps trees overcome both short- and long-duration environmental stresses. We monitored changes in internal tree water storage in a ponderosa pine on daily and seasonal scales using moisture probes, a dendrometer, and time-lapse electrical resistivity imaging (ERI). These data were used to investigate how patterns of in-tree water storage are affected by changes in sapflow rates, soil moisture, and meteorologic factors such as vapor pressure deficit. Measurements of xylem fluid electrical conductivity were constant in the early growing season while inverted sapwood electrical conductivity steadily increased, suggesting that increases in sapwood electrical conductivity did not result from an increase in xylem fluid electrical conductivity. Seasonal increases in stem electrical conductivity corresponded with seasonal increases in trunk diameter, suggesting that increased electrical conductivity may result from new growth. On the daily scale, changes in inverted sapwood electrical conductivity correspond to changes in sapwood moisture. Wavelet analyses indicated that lag times between inverted electrical conductivity and sapflow increased after storm events, suggesting that as soils wetted, reliance on internal water storage decreased, as did the time required to refill daily deficits in internal water storage. We found short time lags between sapflow and inverted electrical conductivity with dry conditions, when ponderosa pine are known to reduce stomatal conductance to avoid xylem cavitation. A decrease in diel amplitudes of inverted sapwood electrical conductivity during dry periods suggest that the ponderosa pine relied on internal water storage to supplement transpiration demands, but as drought conditions progressed, tree water storage contributions to transpiration decreased. Time-lapse ERI- and wavelet-analysis results highlight the important role internal tree water storage plays in supporting transpiration throughout a day and during periods of declining subsurface moisture.

publication date

  • August 25, 2021

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • January 24, 2022 11:54 AM

Full Author List

  • Harmon RE; Barnard HR; Day-Lewis FD; Mao D; Singha K

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2624-9375

Additional Document Info


  • 3