Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 3, 2004
Publication Date: October 5, 2004
Citation: Tolk, J.A., Howell, T.A., Evett, S.R. 2004. An evapotranspiration research facility for soil-plant-environment interactions [abstract]. Agronomy Abstracts, ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. 2004 CDROM. Technical Abstract: The Soil-Plant-Environment Research facility at USDA-ARS, Bushland, TX, focuses on intensive evapotranspiration (ET) and plant water stress research. The facility has 48 monolithic lysimeters each with a 0.75-m by 1.0-m surface area and a 2.4-m depth, which can be covered by a 13-m by 18-m automatic rain shelter. When research began at the facility in 1989 , the lysimeters were manually weighed at weekly intervals, and contained a soil series of either Pullman clay loam (fine, mixed, superactive, thermic Torrertic Paleustolls), Ulysses silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, superactive Aridic Haplustolls) or Amarillo fine sandy loam (fine-loamy, mixed, thermic Aridic Paleustalfs). Irrigation was measured volumetrically and applied by hand. Improvements include the installation of 48 deck scales for the continuous measurement of mass, the addition of the Vingo loamy fine sand (coarse-loamy, mixed, mesic Aridic Paleustalfs), and the surface irrigation of the lysimeters using pressure-compensating drip emitters. The improvements have allowed the hourly to daily measurement of ET, increased the range in soil hydraulic characteristics, and increased the ease and accuracy of irrigation applications.