Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019MD128B

Evaluating seasonal variations in where trees get their water

Institute: Maryland
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-05-31 End Date: 2020-05-30
Total Federal Funds: $6,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $12,000

Principal Investigators:

Abstract: Evapotranspiration is a major component of catchment water balances. Transpiration by plants can cause seasonal variations in groundwater levels, and in riparian areas this can cause seasonal variations in groundwater flow directions. To evaluate variations in trees’ water sources, I will monitor groundwater levels and water isotopic composition along a hillslope-floodplain transect. At each site, I will also determine vertical and lateral variations in soil bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, root size, root density, and fine root oxygen isotopic composition. I hypothesize that the isotopic composition of fine roots will reflect the isotopic composition of local groundwater and will vary seasonally.