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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352619

Research Project: The Effects of Water-Driven Processes on Sugarcane Production Systems and Associated Ecosystem Services in Louisiana

Location: Sugarcane Research

Title: Using eddy covariance to determine sugarcane field hydrologic components

item White, Paul
item Webber Iii, Charles
item Grisham, Michael

Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2018
Publication Date: 9/1/2018
Citation: White Jr, P.M., Webber III, C.L., Grisham, M.P. 2018. Using eddy covariance to determine sugarcane field hydrologic components [abstract]. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 38:67.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Louisiana’s growing conditions are unique for producing sugarcane and include short, synchronized growing (June-Sept.) and harvest (Oct.-Jan.) seasons, and a dormant period resulting from cold temperatures, often <10°C, and occasional freezes, for portions of Dec.-Feb. The humid, sub-tropical region receives 1650 mm of precipitation annually, exhibits a shallow water table (<1.5 m), and is periodically flooded. Despite these limitations, sugarcane is widely cultivated on >162,000 ha due to its excellent adaptability. However, hydrologic information of Louisiana sugar production lacks detail needed to characterize its potential ecosystem services (ES). The objective of the research is to measure evapotranspiration, precipitation, and runoff, and quantify crop and soil water flux and storage, in a representative sugarcane production field. Evapotranspiration will be calculated using latent heat flux data collected from an eddy covariance tower at the site. Automated sensors will measure precipitation and runoff. Time domain reflectometry will be used to monitor changes to soil moisture over time. Crop water will be measured gravimetrically. Data will allow preliminary identification of interactions between regulating ES, such as ET and soil water, and provisioning ES, such as sugar production. A long-term goal is to categorize how these regulating and provisioning ES relate to supporting ES, such as plant diversity and wildlife habitat.