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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Water Management and Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347271

Research Project: Improving the Sustainability of Irrigated Farming Systems in Semi-Arid Regions

Location: Water Management and Systems Research

Title: Improved installation and validation of sap flow sensors on maize plants.

Author
item Comas, Louise
item Van Bavel, Michael - Dynamax Inc
item Young, Jason - Cantigny Gardens
item Chesus, Kelly

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Over the last 3 years, a considerable effort has been implemented to upgrade heat-balance type sap flow sensors and simplify installation for plants with high stem transpiration, such as maize. A new style of sensors makes the installation on maize efficient and can eliminate additional issues, including moisture accumulation and production of adventitious root adventitious on stems sections near sensors. Sap flow sensors were installed on maize plants that were placed on logging scales in the greenhouse. The tops of the pots were sealed between the pot rim and the plant stem with plastic garbage bags. Transpiration measured by sap flow sensors was compared to measurements determined from weight loss of pots on the scales. Greenhouse along with field data suggests that the ability to install and leave sensors on stems without maintenance can be increased from 2 weeks to 4 to 6 weeks or longer, depending on the stage of growth at the time that sensors are installed, with accurate results.

Technical Abstract: Over the last 3 years, a considerable effort has been implemented to upgrade heat-balance type sap flow sensors and simplify installation for plants with high stem transpiration, such as maize. A new style of sensors makes the installation on maize efficient and can eliminate additional issues, including moisture accumulation and adventitious root production in the vicinity of the sensors. Sap flow sensors were installed on maize plants placed on continuously logging scales in the greenhouse. The tops of the pots were sealed between the pot rim and the plant stem with plastic garbage bags. Transpiration measured by sap flow sensors was compared to that gravimetrically-determined from the weight loss of pots on the scales. Greenhouse along with field data suggests that the ability to install and leave sensors on stems without maintenance can be increased from 2 weeks to 4 to 6 weeks or longer, depending on the stage of growth at the time that sensors are installed, with accurate results.