Articles | Volume 24, issue 6
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 3057–3075, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-3057-2020
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 3057–3075, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-3057-2020

Research article 10 Jun 2020

Research article | 10 Jun 2020

Disentangling temporal and population variability in plant root water uptake from stable isotopic analysis: when rooting depth matters in labeling studies

Valentin Couvreur et al.

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Latest update: 02 Dec 2021
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Short summary
Isotopic labeling of soil water is a broadly used tool for tracing the origin of water extracted by plants and computing root water uptake (RWU) profiles with multisource mixing models. In this study, we show how a method such as this may misconstrue time series of xylem water isotopic composition as the temporal dynamics of RWU by simulating data collected during a tall fescue rhizotron experiment with an isotope-enabled physical soil–root model accounting for variability in root traits.