Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2022-375
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2022-375
 
16 Jan 2023
16 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Hydrological effects of evapotranspiration in the Qilian Mountains forest belt

Yinying Jiao1,2, Guofeng Zhu1,2, Dongdong Qiu1,2, Yuwei Liu1,2, Lei Wang1,2, Siyu Lu1,2, Gaojia Meng1,2, Xinrui Lin1,2, Rui Li1,2, Qinqin Wang1,2, Longhu Chen1,2, and Niu Sun1,2 Yinying Jiao et al.
  • 1School of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, Gansu, China
  • 2Shiyang River Ecological Environment Observation Station, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, Gansu, China

Abstract. Mountainous areas are the main water-producing and source areas of rivers. Global climate change is transforming the distribution of plants and forms of water use. Therefore, a clear understanding of evapotranspiration in mountainous forest zone is key for understanding the ecohydrological effect of vegetation and its influence on the water cycle of the watershed. We quantified the evapotranspiration processes in the forest belts of the Qilian Mountains as well as their contribution to runoff yield and concentration based on precipitation, soil water, and plant water samples and experimental data. The study showed that transpiration of Qinghai spruce accounted for the highest proportion of evapotranspiration in the entire Qinghai spruce forest ecosystem, with an average of 79 %, which means that transpiration is much greater than evaporation. Soil water content and air humidity were the dominant factors influencing evapotranspiration in Qinghai spruce forest belts. The growing season of Qinghai spruce is characterized by greater evapotranspiration than precipitation in each month. Consequently, the forest zone does not yield flows in the eastern part of the Qilian Mountains. The warming of global temperatures and human activities are likely to trigger shifts in the distribution areas and evapotranspiration regimes of Qinghai spruce, which in turn will lead to a change in water resource patterns in the basin.

Yinying Jiao et al.

Status: open (until 13 Mar 2023)

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Yinying Jiao et al.

Yinying Jiao et al.

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Short summary
Qilian Mountains are an important ecological security barrier and a priority area for biodiversity conservation in central Asia. We quantified the evapotranspiration processes in the forest belts of the Qilian Mountains as well as their contribution to runoff yield and concentration based on precipitation, soil water, and plant water samples and experimental data. We draw a conclusion that the forest zone does not yield flows in the eastern part of the Qilian Mountains.