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Forests 2018, 9(3), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030147

Water Level Controls on Sap Flux of Canopy Species in Black Ash Wetlands

1
School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
2
Department of Earth, Environment, & Geosciences, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI 49985, USA
3
D.B. Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
4
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Richmond, NSW 2753, Australia
5
Department of Natural Resource Science, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8, Canada
6
Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Grand Rapids, MN 55744, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding and Managing Emerald Ash Borer Impacts on Ash Forests)
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Abstract

Black ash (Fraxinus nigra Marsh.) exhibits canopy dominance in regularly inundated wetlands, suggesting advantageous adaptation. Black ash mortality due to emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) will alter canopy composition and site hydrology. Retention of these forested wetlands requires understanding black ash’s ecohydrologic role. Our study examined the response of sap flux to water level and atmospheric drivers in three codominant species: black ash, red maple (Acer rubrum L.), and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britt.), in depressional wetlands in western Michigan, USA. The influence of water level on sap flux rates and response to vapor pressure deficit (VPD) was tested among species. Black ash had significantly greater sap flux than non-black ash at all water levels (80–160% higher). Black ash showed a significant increase (45%) in sap flux rates as water levels decreased. Black ash and red maple showed significant increases in response to VPD as water levels decreased (112% and 56%, respectively). Exploration of alternative canopy species has focused on the survival and growth of seedlings, but our findings show important differences in water use and response to hydrologic drivers among species. Understanding how a replacement species will respond to the expected altered hydrologic regimes of black ash wetlands following EAB infestation will improve species selection. View Full-Text
Keywords: transpiration; Fraxinus nigra; ecohydrology; emerald ash borer; mitigation; water table; flooding; inundation transpiration; Fraxinus nigra; ecohydrology; emerald ash borer; mitigation; water table; flooding; inundation
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Shannon, J.; Van Grinsven, M.; Davis, J.; Bolton, N.; Noh, N.J.; Pypker, T.; Kolka, R. Water Level Controls on Sap Flux of Canopy Species in Black Ash Wetlands. Forests 2018, 9, 147.

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