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Research article1998Peer reviewed

Influence of shelterbelt type on potential evaporation in an arid environment

Messing I, Afors M, Radkvist K, Lewan E


The results from three studies in central Tunisia are presented, the first and second in November-December of two consecutive years and the third in April-May. The spatial variation in reductions of potential evaporation behind the shelterbelts, measured with the Andersson evaporimeter, is reported. The types of shelterbelt systems were a mechanical shelter of porous nylon netting on the open plain, a cactus Opuntia ficus indica shelter with very low porosity, a nursery with an Acacia cyanophylla shelter within a system of rows of tall Eucalyptus camaldulensis situated 40 to >170 m from the shelter, and an orchard of dispersed young fruit trees sheltered by young plantations of Acacia cyanophylla and Casuarina equisetifolia shelterbelts. The mechanical shelter reduced potential evaporation similarly in the three studies. The cactus shelter was inefficient owing to its low porosity. In the nursery the tall eucalyptus trees reduced potential evaporation at distances >20H (H is distance in terms of height of the shelter) behind the acacia shelters. In the orchard the fruit trees had an effect by increasing the surface roughness and contributing by transpiration to altered evaporative demands. Furthermore, seasonal differences in the relative reductions of potential evaporation were found, especially in the orchard. The relative reduction in daily potential evaporation was strongly correlated to relative reduction in daily mean wind speed, principally because the soil in all systems was kept bare. The Andersson evaporimeter was shown to be practical and convenient for these types of studies


shelter-belts; wind-erosion; evaporation

Published in

Arid Soil Research And Rehabilitation
1998, Volume: 12, number: 2, pages: 123-138