The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Evapotranspiration of Urban Groundcover Species In SLC

Project by: Rose Smith, Noortje Grijseels, Diane Pataki

In collaboration with Red Butte Gardens, and Research Park, we are measuring in situ evapotranspiration (ET) of turfgrass and groundcover alternatives. We measured diurnal in situ ET on a well-watered Kentucky Bluegrass and five groundcover alternatives species. ET measurements involve briefly placing a portable clear PVC chamber (0.28 x 0.28 x 0.19m) over vegetation, measuring changes in chamber humidity.  We measured five replicates of turfgrass and each groundcover species in full sun, plus turfgrass in shade hourly during 2-3 days in July-October 2018, integrating measurements to calculate daily rates. ET from Kentucky Bluegrass was 7.5 – 10.5 and 2.8 – 3.25 mm/day in sun and shade respectively. Groundcover ET varied from 3.5-9.5 mm/day. Our results show that 1) turfgrass and groundcover alternative ET are not necessarily different in sun, 2) ET from shaded Kentucky Bluegrass is lower than ET from all groundcover alternatives, and 3) reference ET under-estimates turfgrass ET.

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