Articles | Volume 26, issue 24
Research article
14 Dec 2022
Research article |  | 14 Dec 2022

Vegetation optimality explains the convergence of catchments on the Budyko curve

Remko C. Nijzink and Stanislaus J. Schymanski

Data sets

Budyko repository Remko Nijzink

Model code and software

VOM-v0.6 Remko Nijzink, Stan Schymanski

FLEXsimple Remko Nijzink


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Short summary
Most catchments plot close to the empirical Budyko curve, which allows for estimating the long-term mean annual evaporation and runoff. We found that a model that optimizes vegetation properties in response to changes in precipitation leads it to converge to a single curve. In contrast, models that assume no changes in vegetation start to deviate from a single curve. This implies that vegetation has a stabilizing role, bringing catchments back to equilibrium after changes in climate.