Original Articles

Water use efficiency in South African Eucalyptus plantations: A review

Published in: The Southern African Forestry Journal
Volume 189, issue 1, 2000 , pages: 17–26
DOI: 10.1080/10295925.2000.9631276
Author(s): PeterJ. DyeFaculty of Science and Agriculture,


The relation between rainfall and Eucalyptus stem growth is investigated using data recorded at three ICFR espacement trials in kwaZulu-Natal. These data show that, for a given rainfall amount, large differences in stem growth may occur at different sites. The possibility of these differences arising from different degrees of rainfall utilization at the three sites is discussed. Evidence from a variety of sources suggest that most rainfall falling on forest plantations is utilized by plantation forests, and that the observed differences in stem growth per unit of rainfall (WUEstem/rain) are caused primarily by differences in carbon allocation patterns brought about by differences in the frequency and intensity of physiological stress.

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