TRACC: an open source software for processing sap flux data from thermal dissipation probes
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2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Key message: TRACC is an open-source software for standardizing the cleaning, conversion, and calibration of sap flux density data from thermal dissipation probes, which addresses issues of nighttime transpiration and water storage. Abstract: Thermal dissipation probes (TDPs) have become a widely used method of monitoring plant water use in recent years. The use of TDPs requires calibration to a theoretical zero-flow value (T0); usually based upon the assumption that at least some nighttime measurements represent zero-flow conditions. Fully automating the processing of data from TDPs is made exceedingly difficult due to errors arising from many sources. However, it is desirable to minimize variation arising from different researchers processing data, and thus, a common platform for processing data, including editing raw data and determination of T0, is useful and increases the transparency and replicability of TDP-based research. Here, we present the TDP data processing software TRACC (Thermal dissipation Review Assessment Cleaning and Conversion) to serve this purpose. TRACC is an open-source software written in the language R, using graphical presentation of data and on screen prompts with yes/no or simple numerical responses. It allows the user to select several important options, such as calibration coefficients and the exclusion of nights when vapor pressure deficit does not approach zero. Although it is designed for users with no coding experience, the outputs of TRACC could be easily incorporated into more complex models or software.