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


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Latest update: 18 Jul 2024

The requested paper has a corresponding corrigendum published. Please read the corrigendum first before downloading the article.

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.