This technical note presents an instrumental method for the precise and timely installation of mechanical displacement sensors to investigate stem compression and relaxation associated with whole-tree rainwater loading and evaporation, respectively. We developed this procedure in response to the conclusions of Friesen et al. (2008), which called for the development of a precision mounting method for strain sensors on inherently-irregular trunk cross-sections so that rainfall interception, storage and evaporation may be distinguished from other strain-related phenomena. To supply precise sensor installation locations, high-resolution trunk profiles are generated using the LaserBarkTM automated tree measurement system. These scans are utilized to approximate the location of neutral bending axes. A routine then instructs a mobile rangefinder along the cross-section to optically indicate exact positioning for strain sensors over the bending axes. As imprecise sensor placement linearly increases error and diminishes signal-to-noise ratio, this automated installation routine is designed to remove significant distortions created by wind throw, off-centre loading within unevenly-distributed canopies, and human error that can lead to erroneous measurements of rainfall interception.
- forest hydrology,
- stem compression,
- mechanical displacement sensor,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_vanstan/10/