Hydrological consequences of Eucalyptus afforestation in the Argentine Pampas

V. Engel, E. G. Jobbagy, M. Stieglitz, M. Williams, R. B. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impacts of a 40 ha stand of Eucalyptus camaldulensis in the Pampas grasslands of Argentina were explored for 2 years using a novel combination of sap flow, groundwater data, soil moisture measurements, and modeling. Sap flow measurements showed transpiration rates of 2–3.7 mm d−1, lowering groundwater levels by more than 0.5 m with respect to the surrounding grassland. This hydraulic gradient induced flow from the grassland areas into the plantation and resulted in a rising of the plantation water table at night. Groundwater use estimated from diurnal water table fluctuations correlated well with sap flow (p < 0.001, r2 = 0.78). Differences between daily sap flow and the estimates of groundwater use were proportional to changes in surface soil moisture content (p < 0.001, r2 = 0.75). E. camaldulensis therefore used both groundwater and vadose zone moisture sources, depending on soil water availability. Model results suggest that groundwater sources represented ∼67% of total annual water use.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberW10409
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


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