Measuring and modeling the variation in species-specific transpiration in temperate deciduous hardwoods.
We investigated which parameters required by the MAESTRA model were most important in predicting leaf-area-based transpiration in 5-year-old trees of five deciduous hardwood species-yoshino cherry (Prunus x yedoensis Matsum.), red maple (Acer rubrum L. 'Autumn Flame'), trident maple (Acer buergeranum Miq.), Japanese flowering cherry (Prunus serrulata Lindl. 'Kwanzan') and London plane-tree (Platanus x acerifolia (Ait.) Willd.). Transpiration estimated from sap flow measured by the heat balance method in branches and trunks was compared with estimates predicted by the three-dimensional transpiration, photosynthesis and absorbed radiation model, MAESTRA. MAESTRA predicted species-specific transpiration from the interactions of leaf-level physiology and spatially explicit micro-scale weather patterns in a mixed deciduous hardwood plantation on a 15-min time step. The monthly differences between modeled mean daily transpiration estimates and measured mean daily sap flow ranged from a 35% underestimation for Acer buergeranum in June to a 25% overestimation for A. rubrum in July. The sensitivity of the modeled transpiration estimates was examined across a 30% error range for seven physiological input parameters. The minimum value of stomatal conductance as incident solar radiation tends to zero was determined to be eight times more influential than all other physiological model input parameters. This work quantified the major factors that influence modeled species-specific transpiration and confirmed the ability to scale leaf-level physiological attributes to whole-crown transpiration on a species-specific basis.