In central Cambodia, rapid growing non-endemic species are planted for future timber production. However, less is understood about the impact of the introduction of non-endemic species on the transpiration characteristics of the forest, which has been composed of native species that adapted to the highly seasonal environments. Sap flux of two native and one non-endemic tree species in central Cambodia was measured to reveal its seasonal trends and variability in the Monsoon Asia region. Measurements were carried out in a 10- to 15-year-old forest in the dry and rainy seasons that were defined by differing rainfall patterns. The seasonal trend in depth to water table differed from that of rainfall; groundwater table depth reached zero late in the rainy season and increased gradually after the onset of the dry season. The ratio of sap flux to an equilibrium evaporation condition of the native species, Popel (Shorea roxburghii), showed a sharp decline at the end of the dry season, whereas that of a non-endemic species, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), decreased in the mid rainy season while Tbeng (Dipterocarpus obtusifolius) did not show a clear trend. The ratio of sap flux to an equilibrium evaporation was negatively correlated with the depth to water table in Popel, but was positively correlated in eucalyptus, possibly because of the negative effects of flooding. In addition to the large seasonal variation, intra-species variation in sap flux was also large and was a major controlling factor for tree-level water uptake at this young forest site in both dry and rainy seasons. In conclusion, the transpiration characteristics of this forest were species-specific and were controlled more by the fluctuating depths to groundwater rather than the onset of the rainy/dry seasons defined by rainfall events.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology