Using Capacitance Sensors for the Continuous Measurement of the Water Content in the Litter Layer of Forest SoilReport as inadecuate

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Applied and Environmental Soil Science - Volume 2014 2014, Article ID 627129, 5 pages -

Research Article

Laboratory of Forest Hydrology, Division of Environmental Science and Technology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan

Kansai Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Kyoto 612-0855, Japan

College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan

Received 7 January 2014; Revised 3 March 2014; Accepted 10 March 2014; Published 3 April 2014

Academic Editor: Davey Jones

Copyright © 2014 Mioko Ataka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Little is known about the wetting and drying processes of the litter layer layer, likely because of technical difficulties inherent in nondestructive water content WC monitoring. We developed a method for continuously measuring the WC of leaf litter the “LWC method” in situ using capacitance sensors. To test variants of this approach, five for the LWC_5 or ten for the LWC_10 method Quercus serrata leaves were attached around capacitance sensors. The output voltage used for each LWC method was linearly correlated with the gravimetric WC LWC_5: ; LWC_10: , producing different slopes for each calibration line. For in situ continuous measurements of WC in the layer, two sensors were used, one placed on top of the layer and the other at the boundary between the and mineral layers. The average continuous WC of the layer was then calculated from the output voltage of the two sensors and the calibration function, and this value was linearly correlated with the gravimetric WC . However, because the layer characteristics e.g., thickness, water-holding capacity, and species composition may differ among study sites, appropriate approaches for measuring this layer’s moisture properties may be needed.

Author: Mioko Ataka, Yuji Kominami, Takafumi Miyama, Kenichi Yoshimura, Mayuko Jomura, and Makoto Tani



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