Diurnal fluctuation of groundwater levels caused by the invasive alien mesquite plant.
Invasive alien plants such as mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) alter patterns of groundwater uptake. We measured the groundwater level beneath a mesquite stand in an arid area in Sudan. The changes in groundwater level closely followed plant water uptake. The groundwater level started to decline a few hours before sunrise, recovered around noon, and then continued to decline until a few hours after sunset, before recovering again during the night. Thus, groundwater level showed two peaks: just before sunrise and around midday. The midday recovery was due to the depression of photosynthesis by heat and light.