Articles | Volume 23, issue 2
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-1199-2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-1199-2019
Research article
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01 Mar 2019
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 01 Mar 2019

Seasonal origins of soil water used by trees

Scott T. Allen, James W. Kirchner, Sabine Braun, Rolf T. W. Siegwolf, and Gregory R. Goldsmith

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Short summary
We used stable isotopes of xylem water to study differences in the seasonal origin of water in more than 900 individual trees from three dominant species in 182 Swiss forested sites. We discovered that midsummer transpiration was mostly supplied by winter precipitation across diverse humid climates. Our findings provide new insights into tree vulnerability to droughts, transport of water (and thus solutes) in soils, and the climatic information conveyed by plant-tissue isotopes.