Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2022-4
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2022-4

  10 Jan 2022

10 Jan 2022

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Inter- and intra-event rainfall partitioning dynamics of two typical xerophytic shrubs in the Loess Plateau of China

Jinxia An1,2, Guangyao Gao1,2,4, Chuan Yuan3, and Bojie Fu1,2,4 Jinxia An et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Silviculture, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou 311300, China
  • 4National Observation and Research Station of Earth Critical Zone on the Loess Plateau in Shaanxi, Xi’an 710061, China

Abstract. Rainfall is known as the main water replenishment in dryland ecosystem, and rainfall partitioning by vegetation reshapes the spatial and temporal distribution patterns of rainwater entry into the soil. The dynamics of rainfall partitioning have been extensively studied at the inter-event scale, yet very few studies have explored its finer intra-event dynamics and the relating driving factors for shrubs. Here, we conducted a concurrent in-depth investigation of rainfall partitioning at inter- and intra-event scales for two typical xerophytic shrubs (Caragana korshinskii and Salix psammophila) in the Liudaogou catchment of the Loess Plateau, China. The event throughfall (TF), stemflow (SF), and interception loss (IC) and their temporal variations within the rainfall event as well as the meteorological factors and vegetation characteristics were systematically measured during the 2014–2015 rainy seasons. The C. korshinskii had significantly higher SF percentage (9.2 %) and lower IC percentage (21.4 %) compared to S. psammophila (3.8 % and 29.5 %, respectively) (p < 0.05), but their TF percentages were not significantly different (69.4 % vs. 66.7 %). At the intra-event scale, TF and SF of S. psammophila was initiated (0.1 vs. 0.3 h and 0.7 vs. 0.8 h) and peaked (1.8 vs. 2.0 h and 2.1 vs. 2.2 h) more quickly, and TF of S. psammophila lasted longer (5.2 vs. 4.8 h), delivered more intensely (4.3 vs. 3.8 mm∙h−1), whereas SF of C. korshinskii lasted longer (4.6 vs. 4.1 h), delivered more intensely (753.8 vs. 471.2 mm∙h−1). For both shrubs, rainfall amount was the most significant factor influencing inter-event rainfall partitioning, and rainfall intensity and duration controlled the intra-event TF and SF variables. The C. korshinskii with larger branch angle, more small branches and smaller canopy area, has an advantage to produce stemflow more efficiently over S. psammophila. The S. psammophila has lower canopy water storage capacity to generate and peak throughfall and stemflow earlier, and it has larger aboveground biomass and total canopy water storage of individual plant to produce higher interception loss compared to C. korshinskii. These findings contribute to the fine characterization of shrub-dominated eco-hydrological processes, and improve the accuracy of water balance estimation in dryland ecosystem.

Jinxia An et al.

Status: open (until 07 Mar 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Reviewer comments on hess-2022-4', David Dunkerley, 17 Jan 2022 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Guangyao Gao, 18 Jan 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2022-4', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Jan 2022 reply

Jinxia An et al.

Jinxia An et al.

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Short summary
A concurrent in-depth investigation of rainfall partitioning at inter- and intra-event scales for two xerophytic shrubs was conducted. Inter-event rainfall partitioning amount and percentage depended more on rainfall amount, and rainfall intensity and duration controlled intra-event rainfall partitioning variables. Shrub has larger branch angle, more small branch and smaller canopy area to produce stemflow more efficiently, and the one has larger biomass to intercept more rainfall.