Unlike water potential, the water content data (Figure 2) are more dynamic. Soil moisture sensor data not only show subtle changes due to daily water uptake, but they also indicate how much water needs to be applied to maintain the root zone at an optimal level. However, with water content data alone, it’s impossible to identify an optimal level. For example, if there were large changes in water content over four or five days, researchers might assume, based upon on-site observations, that it’s time to irrigate. In reality, they know little about the availability of water to the plant. Thus, it’s useful to put the two graphs together (Figure 3).
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