Ecohydrology of a riparian woodland along the Oldman River, Alberta

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Phelan, Colleen Amy
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2007
Growth of riparian cottonwoods along regulated rivers can be limited by water availability. In this study we associate seasonal variation of environmental conditions and stream flows with water relations of a natural cottonwood grove located along a regulated river in southern Alberta. To link elements in the river-soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, river and groundwater levels and precipitation were monitored; sap flow was continuously measured with thermal dissipation probes in eight trees and stomatal conductance and leaf water potential were measured monthly; and weather conditions were monitored. From June through August, stomatal conductances at both leaf and canopy levels were increasingly limited by decreasing water availability. Artificially increasing the soil moisture in August resulted in an increase in sap flow and stomatal conductance at leaf and canopy levels. These responses can be attributed to seasonal changes in the water potential difference between soil and leaves or an alteration in hydraulic conductance, or a combination of both.
xiv, 135 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm
Cottonwood -- Alberta -- Oldman River Basin , Riparian ecology -- Alberta -- Oldman River Basin , Ecohydrology -- Alberta -- Oldman River Basin , Dissertations, Academic