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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 20, issue 5
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2001–2018, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-2001-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2001–2018, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-2001-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 17 May 2016

Research article | 17 May 2016

Combined measurement and modeling of the hydrological impact of hydraulic redistribution using CLM4.5 at eight AmeriFlux sites

Congsheng Fu1, Guiling Wang1, Michael L. Goulden2, Russell L. Scott3, Kenneth Bible4, and Zoe G. Cardon5 Congsheng Fu et al.
  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Center for Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
  • 2Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
  • 3Southwest Watershed Research Center, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Tucson, AZ, USA
  • 4Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Carson, WA, USA
  • 5The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA

Abstract. Effects of hydraulic redistribution (HR) on hydrological, biogeochemical, and ecological processes have been demonstrated in the field, but the current generation of standard earth system models does not include a representation of HR. Though recent studies have examined the effect of incorporating HR into land surface models, few (if any) have done cross-site comparisons for contrasting climate regimes and multiple vegetation types via the integration of measurement and modeling. Here, we incorporated the HR scheme of Ryel et al. (2002) into the NCAR Community Land Model Version 4.5 (CLM4.5), and examined the ability of the resulting hybrid model to capture the magnitude of HR flux and/or soil moisture dynamics from which HR can be directly inferred, to assess the impact of HR on land surface water and energy budgets, and to explore how the impact may depend on climate regimes and vegetation conditions. Eight AmeriFlux sites with contrasting climate regimes and multiple vegetation types were studied, including the Wind River Crane site in Washington State, the Santa Rita Mesquite savanna site in southern Arizona, and six sites along the Southern California Climate Gradient. HR flux, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture were properly simulated in the present study, even in the face of various uncertainties. Our cross-ecosystem comparison showed that the timing, magnitude, and direction (upward or downward) of HR vary across ecosystems, and incorporation of HR into CLM4.5 improved the model-measurement matches of evapotranspiration, Bowen ratio, and soil moisture particularly during dry seasons. Our results also reveal that HR has important hydrological impact in ecosystems that have a pronounced dry season but are not overall so dry that sparse vegetation and very low soil moisture limit HR.

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Hydraulic redistribution (HR) of plant root has important hydrological impact (on evapotranspiration, Bowen ratio, and soil moisture) in ecosystems that have a pronounced dry season but are not overall so dry that sparse vegetation and very low soil moisture limit HR.
Hydraulic redistribution (HR) of plant root has important hydrological impact (on...
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