Stand transpiration (E) estimated using the sap flux methods is affected by the azimuthal, radial, and tree-to-tree variations of sap flux. Although several studies have examined the relative importance of the three variations in estimating E, the seasonality of the three variations remains unknown. In the current study, we attempted to clarify whether the relative importance of these three variations could show seasonal changes. Using sap flux data measured in a subtropical cloud forest from August 2010 to July 2011, we calculated the differences resulting from omitting the three variations in estimating E. The effects of the three variations in estimating E showed seasonality. The azimuthal and tree-to-tree variations were more pronounced during winter, whereas the radial variation was more pronounced during summer. However, the effect of tree-to-tree variation was consistently much larger than the other two variations throughout the study period. The tree-to-tree variation is more important in estimating E monthly, seasonally and annually than both the azimuthal and radial variations, although all three variations have shown seasonality. In addition, the sensor allocation for summer would be acceptable for the practical estimation of E if aiming at the long time scale.
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