Monitoring the variations of evapotranspiration due to land use/cover change in a semiarid shrubland
Abstract. Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important process in the hydrological cycle, and vegetation change is a primary factor that affects ET. In this study, we analyzed the annual and inter-annual characteristics of ET using continuous observation data from eddy covariance (EC) measurement over 4 years (1 July 2011 to 30 June 2015) in a semiarid shrubland of Mu Us Sandy Land, China. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was demonstrated as the predominant factor that influences the seasonal variations in ET. Additionally, during the land degradation and vegetation rehabilitation processes, ET and normalized ET both increased due to the integrated effects of the changes in vegetation type, topography, and soil surface characteristics. This study could improve our understanding of the effects of land use/cover change on ET in the fragile ecosystem of semiarid regions and provide a scientific reference for the sustainable management of regional land and water resources.