Mediterranean ecosystems are typically heterogeneous and savanna-like, with trees and grass competing for water use. By measuring sap flow, we estimated high transpiration of wild olive, a common Mediterranean tree, in Sardinia despite dry conditions. This estimate agrees with independent estimates of tree transpiration based on energy balance, highlighting the wild olive’s strong tolerance of dry conditions. The wild olive can develop an adaptation strategy to tolerate dry conditions. In this Sardinian case study, the wild olive grew in shallow soil, and the tree roots expanded into the underlying fractured basalt. The trees survived in dry periods using water infiltrated during wet seasons into fractured rocks and held in soil pockets. We estimated a high upward vertical flux through the bottom soil layer from the underlying substrate, which reached 97% evapotranspiration in August 2011. The water taken up by tree roots from bedrock hollows is usually neglected in ecohydrological modeling.

On the transpiration of wild olives under water-limited conditions in a heterogeneous ecosystem with shallow soil over fractured rock

Roberto Corona
Primo
;
Nicola Montaldo
Secondo
2020

Abstract

Mediterranean ecosystems are typically heterogeneous and savanna-like, with trees and grass competing for water use. By measuring sap flow, we estimated high transpiration of wild olive, a common Mediterranean tree, in Sardinia despite dry conditions. This estimate agrees with independent estimates of tree transpiration based on energy balance, highlighting the wild olive’s strong tolerance of dry conditions. The wild olive can develop an adaptation strategy to tolerate dry conditions. In this Sardinian case study, the wild olive grew in shallow soil, and the tree roots expanded into the underlying fractured basalt. The trees survived in dry periods using water infiltrated during wet seasons into fractured rocks and held in soil pockets. We estimated a high upward vertical flux through the bottom soil layer from the underlying substrate, which reached 97% evapotranspiration in August 2011. The water taken up by tree roots from bedrock hollows is usually neglected in ecohydrological modeling.
Evapotranspiration; Rock moisture; Water uptake; Sap flow; Energy balance
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/299895
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