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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Global transpiration data from sap flow measurements: the SAPFLUXNET database

Poyatos, Rafael; Granda, Victor; Flo, Victor; Adams, Mark A.; Adorjan, Balazs; Aguade, David; Aidar, Marcos P. M.; Allen, Scott; Susana Alvarado-Barrientos, M.; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J.; Aparecido, Luiza Maria; Arain, M. Altaf; Aranda, Ismael; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Baxter, Robert; Beamesderfer, Eric; Berry, Z. Carter; Berveiller, Daniel; Blakely, Bethany; Boggs, Johnny;
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Plant transpiration links physiological responses of vegetation to water supply and demand with hydrological, energy, and carbon budgets at the land-atmosphere interface. However, despite being the main land evaporative flux at the global scale, transpiration and its response to environmental drivers are currently not well constrained by observations. Here we introduce the first global compilation of whole-plant transpiration data from sap flow measurements (SAPFLUXNET,, last access: 8 June 2021). We harmonized and quality-controlled individual datasets supplied by contributors worldwide in a semi-automatic data workflow implemented in the R programming language. Datasets include sub-daily time series of sap flow and hydrometeorological drivers for one or more growing seasons, as well as metadata on the stand characteristics, plant attributes, and technical details of the measurements. SAPFLUXNET contains 202 globally distributed datasets with sap flow time series for 2714 plants, mostly trees, of 174 species. SAPFLUXNET has a broad bioclimatic coverage, with woodland/shrubland and temperate forest biomes especially well represented (80 % of the datasets). The measurements cover a wide variety of stand structural characteristics and plant sizes. The datasets encompass the period between 1995 and 2018, with 50 % of the datasets being at least 3 years long. Accompanying radiation and vapour pressure deficit data are available for most of the datasets, while on-site soil water content is available for 56 % of the datasets. Many datasets contain data for species that make up 90 % or more of the total stand basal area, allowing the estimation of stand transpiration in diverse ecological settings. SAPFLUXNET adds to existing plant trait datasets, ecosystem flux networks, and remote sensing products to help increase our understanding of plant water use, plant responses to drought, and ecohydrological processes. SAPFLUXNET version 0.1.5 is freely available from the Zenodo repository (; Poyatos et al., 2020a). The "sapfluxnetr" R package - designed to access, visualize, and process SAPFLUXNET data - is available from CRAN.

Published in

Earth System Science Data
2021, volume: 13, number: 6, pages: 2607-2649

Authors' information

Poyatos, Rafael
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Poyatos, Rafael
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Granda, Victor
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Flo, Victor
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Adams, Mark A.
Swinburne University of Technology
Adams, Mark A.
University of Sydney
Adorjan, Balazs
University of Debrecen
Aguade, David
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Aidar, Marcos P. M.
Instituto de Botanica - Sao Paulo
Allen, Scott
University of Nevada Reno
Susana Alvarado-Barrientos, M.
Instituto de Ecologia - Mexico
Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J.
Smithsonian Institution
Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Aparecido, Luiza Maria
Arizona State University
Aparecido, Luiza Maria
Texas AandM University College Station
Arain, M. Altaf
McMaster University
Aranda, Ismael
Instituto Nacional Investigacion Tecnologia Agraria Alimentaria (INIA)
Asbjornsen, Heidi
University of New Hampshire
Baxter, Robert
Durham University
Beamesderfer, Eric
McMaster University
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