Quantifying sapwood width for three Australian native species using electrical resistivity tomography

Hailong Wang, Huade Guan, Adrien Guyot, Craig Simmons, David Lockington

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Sap flow measurement techniques have been successfully applied in ecohydrological studies as they can be used to estimate watershed transpiration. Sapwood area (As) is one of the most important tree parameters for estimating transpiration from point sap flow measurements. Accurate and efficient determination of As and the relationship between As and other tree parameters (e.g. diameter at 130 cm, DBH) is essential for the practical upscaling of sap flow data. The conventional methods for determining sapwood area are accurate (although coring can damage the trees) but prohibitive when a large number of trees need to be sampled. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) is a non-destructive geophysical method, which detects the moisture or electrolyte concentration difference in wood tissue to identify sapwood-heartwood boundaries. In this study, a rigorous method for quantifying sapwood width and area using ERT is detailed using measurements on 30 trees of three Australian native species (drooping sheoak and two eucalypts). Results show that sapwood widths estimated by ERT were in good agreement with those obtained from wood core analyses for the three species. A strong linear relationship was observed between As and DBH and between heartwood radius and DBH. The As-DBH relationship extends the synthesis for eucalypts species in previous studies. Sapwood width was overestimated for trees under wet conditions, which indicates that the ERT technique for sapwood width quantification is limited under such conditions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-92
    Number of pages10
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


    • Electrical resistivity tomography
    • Eucalyptus
    • Evapotranspiration
    • Sap flow
    • Sapwood area
    • Transpiration


    Dive into the research topics of 'Quantifying sapwood width for three Australian native species using electrical resistivity tomography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this