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Ebner, M., Miranda, T. and Roth-Nebelsick, A. 2011. Efficient fog harvesting by Stipagrostis sabulicola (Namib dune bushman grass). Journal of Arid Environments, 75(6): 524-531


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Efficient fog harvesting by Stipagrostis sabulicola (Namib dune bushman grass).

Summary / Notes:

Stipagrostis sabulicola, an endemic grass species of the central Namib Desert, grows on dune fields under conditions of very low annual precipitation punctuated by regular nocturnal fog events. The objective of this study is to determine to what extent S. sabulicola relies on water supply by fog harvesting. The following parameters were monitored: 1) climate, 2) stem runoff, 3) leaf water potential (LWP) and 4) soil water content (SWC). Collected fog water was 5.0 L (liter) per m−2 leaf surface and therefore a total harvest of 4–5 L per fog event for a medium-sized mound of S. sabulicola. SWC close to a mound increased substantially during a fog event, with SWC at about 2.2% within a mound. LWP of S. sabulicola ranged between −1.7 MPa and −3.5 MPa. On days without fog, LWP was highest during the morning and decreased during the afternoon. No significant decrease of LWP occurred during days following a fog event. The increase of SWC at the plant base during a fog event indicates that fog harvest of S. sabulicola occurs mainly via stem flow with subsequent absorption by the root system and that fog catchment therefore represents a substantial water source for this species. Keywords: Dune fields, Fog collection, Leaf water potential, Soil water Content, Stem flow.

Year: 2011

Type: Journal Article

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