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Title: Evapotranspiration of Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) Cultivated at Two Plantation Sites in Southeast Asia

The expansion of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) cultivation to higher latitudes and higher elevations in southeast Asia is part of a dramatic shift in the direction of rural land cover change in the region toward more tree covered landscapes. To investigate the possible effects of increasing rubber cultivation in the region on ecosystem services including water cycling, eddy covariance towers were established to measure ecosystem fluxes within two rubber plantations, one each in Bueng Kan, northeastern Thailand, and Kampong Cham, central Cambodia. The results show that evapotranspiration (ET) at both sites is strongly related to variations in available energy and leaf area, and moderately controlled by soil moisture. Measured mean annual ET was 1128 and 1272 mm for the Thailand and Cambodia sites, respectively. After adjustment for energy closure, mean annual was estimated to be 1211 and 1459 mm yr at the Thailand and Cambodia sites, respectively. Based on these estimates and that of another site in Xishuangbanna, southwestern China, it appears that of rubber is higher than that of other tree dominated land covers in the region, including forest. While measurements by others in non rubber tropical ecosystems indicate that at high net radiation sites is at most only slightlymore » higher than for sites with lower net radiation, mean annual rubber increases strongl with increasing net radiation across the three available rubber plantation observation sites. With the continued expansion of tree dominated land covers, including rubber cultivation, in southeast Asia, the possible association between commercially viable, fast growing tree crop species Giambelluca et al. Evapotranspiration of rubber (Havea brasiliensis) cultivated at two sites in southeast Asia and their relatively high water use raises concerns about potential effects on water and food security.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Water Resources Research, 52(2):660-679
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States