Middle Rio Grande Bosque Evapotranspiration (ET) Study (SEON)

Bosque del Apache Evapotranspiration (ET) Site

Bosque del Apache Evapotranspiration (ET) Site
Flood at Bosque del Apache riparian evapotranspiration (ET) site. Photo taken May 17, 2005.

Bosque del Apache Evapotranspiration (ET) Site - Tamarix

Bosque del Apache Evapotranspiration (ET) Site - Tamarix
Tamarix community and Rio Grande at Bosque del Apache riparian evapotranspiration (ET) site.  Photo taken June 2000.

Sevilleta NWR Riparian Evapotranspiration (ET) Site

Sevilleta NWR Riparian Evapotranspiration (ET) Site
Jim Thibault doing flux tower maintenance at Sevilleta NWR riparian ET site.  Photo taken October 11, 2000.

Sevilleta NWR Riparian Evapotranspiration (ET) Site - Tamarix

Sevilleta NWR Riparian Evapotranspiration (ET) Site - Tamarix
Tamarix forest at Sevilleta riparian evapotranspiration (ET) site with Ladron Peak in the background.  Photo taken June 2000.

Sevilleta NWR Riparian Evapotranspiration (ET) Site - Tamarix 2

Sevilleta NWR Riparian Evapotranspiration (ET) Site - Tamarix 2
Tamarix community and Rio Grande at Sevilleta NWR riparian evapotranspiration (ET) site.  Photo taken September 14, 2000.

Sevilleta NWR Riparian Evapotranspiration (ET) Site - Flux tower

Sevilleta NWR Riparian Evapotranspiration (ET) Site - Flux tower
Flux tower at Sevilleta NWR riparian evapotranspiration (ET) site.

This study originated with the objective of parameterizing riparian evapotranspiration (ET) in the water budget of the Middle Rio Grande.  We hypothesized that flooding and invasions of non-native species would strongly impact ecosystem water use.  Our objectives were to measure and compare water use of native (Rio Grande cottonwood, Populus deltoides ssp. wizleni) and non-native (saltcedar, Tamarix chinensis & Russian olive, Eleagnus angustifolia) vegetation and to evaluate how water use is affected by climatic variability resulting in high river flows and flooding as well as drought conditions and deep water tables.  Eddy covariance flux towers to measure ET and shallow wells to monitor water tables were instrumented in 1999.  Active sites in their second decade of monitoring include a xeroriparian, non-flooding salt cedar woodland within Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and a dense, monotypic salt cedar stand at Bosque del Apache NWR, which is subject to flood pulses associated with high river flows.