Difference in Canopy and Air Temperature as an Indicator of Grassland Water Stress

https://doi.org/10.17221/6514-SWRCitation:Renata D. (2006): Difference in Canopy and Air Temperature as an Indicator of Grassland Water Stress. Soil & Water Res., 1: 127-138.
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In 2003–2005 in conditions of the moderately warm region of the Třeboň Basin (Czech Republic) the difference between canopy temperature (Tc) and air temperature at 2 m (Ta) was tested as an indicator of grass­land water stress. To evaluate water stress ten-minute averages of temperature difference Tc–Ta were chosen recorded on days without rainfall with intensive solar radiation from 11.00 to 14.00 CET. Water stress in the zone of the major portion of root biomass (0–0.2 m) in the peak growing season (minimum presence of dead plant residues) documented by a sudden increase in temperature difference, its value 5–12°C and unfavourable canopy temperatures due to overheating (> 30°C) was indicated after high values of suction pressure approach­ing the wilting point (1300 kPa) were reached. High variability of temperature difference in the conditions of sufficient supply of water to plants was explained by the amount of dead plant residues in canopy, value of va­pour pressure deficit (VPD), actual evapotranspiration rate (ETA) and soil moisture content. At the beginning of the growing season (presence of dead plant residues and voids) we proved moderately strong negative linear correlations of Tc–Ta with VPD and Tc–Ta with ETA rate and moderately strong positive linear correlations of ETA rate with VPD. In the period of intensive growth (the coverage of dead plant residues and voids lower than 10%) moderately strong linear correlations of Tc–Ta with VPD and multiple linear correlations of Tc–Ta with VPD and soil moisture content at a depth of 0.10–0.40 m were demonstrated.
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