Jan Cermak | Mendel University in Brno | Czech Republic | Earth Science-2014 | OMICS International
Title: How to contribute hydro-climatic perspective of global warming from the viewpoint of forests, using open field applicable approach characterizing whole tree and stand ecophysiology via water relations and macrostructure
3rd International Conference on Earth Science & Climate Change
July 28-30, 2014, San Francisco, USA
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Following the new results of climatologists, water shortage and excess liked to variable rainfall may well be the most immediate consequence of global climate change affecting human livelihoods, while we get dangerously close to planetary boundaries of Anthropocene. We started to understand the problems of hydro-climatic perspective through learning the behavior of trees and forests, after getting experience about their macrostructure and water relations from over 60 experimental sites in Europe, USA and other countries in more than 50 tree species.
Many excellent studies are going on at perfectly equipped stationary research sites at present. However some problems could appear, when the task would come, how to answer some practically important questions in many specific sites occurring in open forests dispersed under contrasting environmental conditions over the landscape. Together with several groups of physicists we developed and applied a series of mobile methods allowing such studies in any parts of the World. These technologies are not yet covering all scientific fields as desirable and therefore their gradual development goes on. Here we want to present some of them characterizing macrostructure and water relations of aboveground as well as belowground parts of whole trees and stands, i.e., crowns, stems and root systems. Quantitative estimates of the functions and the effective parameters including their spatial distribution was difficult to obtain earlier, although badly needed for further calculations.
E.g., tree foliage is usually characterized by leaf area index estimated by optical methods. This works, but when more detail distribution analysis is needed, we can still use classical, but also other, such as fluviometric methods, which allow estimates of effective crown size and also its effective form. This also allows better evaluation of e.g., tree transpiration and water consumption, magnitude of environmental stresses, tree water storage, and crown water holding capacity or absorbed amount of solar energy. Information about tree stems is needed from the viewpoint of tree heath state, wood quality or water storage, predisposition of trees to biotic attack, but also safety when considering e.g., trees growing in cities or along roads. We demonstrate practical examples of acoustic, thermodynamic or electric methods, which are of a great help here. Root systems represent very important part of trees, which can be fortunately studied in much more details now than in the past, due to further development of corresponding instrumentation.