The impact of broadleaved woodland on water resources in lowland UK: II. Evaporation estimates from sensible heat flux measurements over beech woodland and grass on chalk sites in Hampshire
The impact on recharge to the Chalk aquifer of substitution of broadleaved woodland for pasture is a matter of concern in the UK. Hence, measurements of energy balance components were made above beech woodland and above pasture, both growing on shallow soils over chalk in Hampshire. Latent heat flux (evaporation) was calculated as the residual from these measurements of energy balances in which sensible heat flux was measured with an eddy correlation instrument that determined fast response vertical wind speeds and associated temperature changes. Assessment of wind turbulence statistics confirmed that the eddy correlation device performed satisfactorily in both wet and dry conditions. There was excellent agreement between forest transpiration measurements made by eddy correlation and stand level tree transpiration measured with sap flow devices. Over the period of the measurements, from March 1999 to late summer 2000, changes in soil water content were small and grassland evaporation and transpiration estimated from energy balance-eddy flux measurements were in excellent agreement with Penman estimates of potential evaporation. Over the 18-month measurement period, the cumulative difference between broadleaved woodland and grassland was small but evaporation from the grassland was 3% higher than that from the woodland. In the springs of 1999 and 2000, evaporation from the grassland was greater than that from the woodland. However, following leaf emergence in the woodland, the difference in cumulative evaporation diminished until the following spring.