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Open AccessArticle

Changes in Whole-Tree Water Use Following Live-Crown Pruning in Young Plantation-Grown Eucalyptus pilularis and Eucalyptus cloeziana

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Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
2
Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
3
Chair of Silviculture, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Freiburg University, D-79085 Freiburg, Germany
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Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, Private Bag 12, Hobart 7001, Australia
5
Forests NSW, PO Box J19, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450, Australia
6
South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Climate Applications, GPO Box 397, Adelaide SA, 5001, Australia
7
Forest Science Centre, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, SCU Lismore NSW 2480, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2013, 4(1), 106-121; https://doi.org/10.3390/f4010106
Received: 28 November 2012 / Revised: 23 January 2013 / Accepted: 1 February 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
Pruning of live branches is a management option to enhance wood quality in plantation trees. It may also alter whole-tree water use, but little is known about the extent and duration of changes in transpiration. In this study, sap flow sensors were used to measure transpiration for 14 days prior to, and 75 days following the removal, through pruning, of the lower 50% of the live-crown length of 10–11 m tall four-year old Eucalyptus pilularis Sm. and E. cloeziana F. Muell. trees. Pruning had no effect on stem growth, sapwood water content or radial pattern of sap velocity in either species. Pruning reduced mean daily water use by 39% in E. pilularis and 59% in E. cloeziana during the first eight days after pruning. Thirty six days after pruning there were no longer any significant differences in transpiration rates between pruned and unpruned trees in either species. Our results show that pruning of live branches had only a short-term effect on whole-tree transpiration in these sub-tropical eucalypt species. View Full-Text
Keywords: defoliation; eucalypt; compensation heat pulse technique; sap flow; sapwood defoliation; eucalypt; compensation heat pulse technique; sap flow; sapwood
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Alcorn, P.J.; Forrester, D.I.; Thomas, D.S.; James, R.; Smith, R.G.B.; Nicotra, A.B.; Bauhus, J. Changes in Whole-Tree Water Use Following Live-Crown Pruning in Young Plantation-Grown Eucalyptus pilularis and Eucalyptus cloeziana. Forests 2013, 4, 106-121.

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