A modified Jarvis-Stewart model for predicting stand-scale transpiration of an Australian native forest

Rhys Whitley*, Melanie Zeppel, Nicholas Armstrong, Catriona Macinnis-Ng, Isa Yunusa, Derek Eamus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Rates of water uptake by individual trees in a native Australian forest were measured on the Liverpool Plains, New South Wales, Australia, using sapflow sensors. These rates were up-scaled to stand transpiration rate (expressed per unit ground area) using sapwood area as the scalar, and these estimates were compared with modelled stand transpiration. A modified Jarvis-Stewart modelling approach (Jarvis 1976), previously used to calculate canopy conductance, was used to calculate stand transpiration rate. Three environmental variables, namely solar radiation, vapour pressure deficit and soil moisture content, plus leaf area index, were used to calculate stand transpiration, using measured rates of tree water use to parameterise the model. Functional forms for the model were derived by use of a weighted non-linear least squares fitting procedure. The model was able to give comparable estimates of stand transpiration to those derived from a second set of sapflow measurements. It is suggested that short-term, intensive field campaigns where sapflow, weather and soil water content variables are measured could be used to estimate annual patterns of stand transpiration using daily variation in these three environmental variables. Such a methodology will find application in the forestry, mining and water resource management industries where long-term intensive data sets are frequently unavailable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-47
Number of pages13
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Canopy conductance
  • Jarvis model of transpiration
  • Woodland


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