To appreciate the sustainabilty of these plantations of Eucalyptus, it is necessary to make a comparative study of energy, carbon, mineral and water balances of two ecosystems, i.e. the original savannah ecosystem, and the man-made ecosystem the Eucalyptus plantations that have succeeded it. The aim of this work is to study the water balance of the two ecosystems and more particularly their actual evapo-transpiration. Throughfall, net interception during the rainy seasons (1996–99) were 867. mm and 112 mm for the Eucalyptus plantation and 878 mm and 101 mm for the savannah, respectively. The mean total annual actual evapo-transpiration respectively 1127. mm for a plantation and 821 mm for a savannah. During the year transpiration/potential evapotranspiration ratio (T/E p ) is related to the soil-water depletion: The T/E p ratio of 0.79 was not reduced from field capacity until 65% of R FC , and then it decreased quickly to near zero at wilting point. The drainage out of rooting depths of savannah during the rainy season was of 827. mm, a total over 3 years; while the drainage out of rooting depths of Eucalyptus plantation was of 470 mm, a difference in drainage between two ecosystems of 357. mm a total over these three years. The Eucalyptus plantation is manmade ecosystem which takes up and transpires every day throughout the year and uses all available water. The succession of several rain-deficient years will reduce the wood production of the plantation but, knowing that between 1949 and 1998 four successive rain-deficient years have only occured once while the length of rotation is seven years; this dry episode does not compromise the survival of the plantation, although it reduces its wood production. The savannah has a cycle of vegetation such that at the end of the dry season the water remaining in the rooting depths of savannah is sufficient for three successive rain-deficient years to have no impact on its production.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 6, 2011
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