Articles | Volume 22, issue 7
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-4097-2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-4097-2018
Research article
 | 
30 Jul 2018
Research article |  | 30 Jul 2018

Testing an optimality-based model of rooting zone water storage capacity in temperate forests

Matthias J. R. Speich, Heike Lischke, and Massimiliano Zappa

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Short summary
To simulate the water balance of, e.g., a forest plot, it is important to estimate the maximum volume of water available to plants. This depends on soil properties and the average depth of roots. Rooting depth has proven challenging to estimate. Here, we applied a model assuming that plants dimension their roots to optimize their carbon budget. We compared its results with values obtained by calibrating a dynamic water balance model. In most cases, there is good agreement between both methods.