Technical notes

Exploring soil water budget of a pristine oak wood in peri-urban Rome, central Italy


Exploring soil water budget of a pristine oak wood in peri-urban Rome, central Italy. The water budget in bounded and fenced areas was assessed by analyzing pedo-climatic conditions and the soil moisture content. Water content in the soil was measured using a Theta Probe Soil Moisture sensor (ML2x by Delta-T-Devices) with a direct read-out device that provides soil moisture estimates as percent volume. The correlation between the experimental values obtained by the gravimetricmethod and thevalues directly measured by Theta Probe was found significant. Soil moisture at 100 cm depth indicates soil water as permanently available for plants through the year except during exceptionally dry summer periods. Therefore, oaks experienced no water deficiency with normal rainfall rates, possibly suffering root asphyxia during rainy years. Results are collected in fenced areas, sheltered by the action of the local fauna.


Oak natural regeneration; water budget; soil moisture; Mediterranean

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