06 Apr 2022
06 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Water partitioning in a Neotropical Savanna forest (Cerrado s.s.): interception responses at different time-scales using adapted versions of the Rutter and the Gash models

Lívia M. P. Rosalem1, Miriam Coenders-Gerritis2, Jamil A. A. Anache3, Seyed M. M. Sadeghi4,5, and Edson Wendland1 Lívia M. P. Rosalem et al.
  • 1University of São Paulo, Department of Hydraulics Engineering and Sanitation, São Carlos, 13566-590, Brazil
  • 2Delft University of Technology, Water Resources Section, Delft, 2628 CN, the Netherlands
  • 3Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, 79070-900, Brazil
  • 4Department of Forest Engineering, Forest Management Planning and Terrestrial Measurements, Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering, Transilvania University of Brasov, Şirul Beethoven 1, 500123, Brasov, Romania
  • 5School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Newins-Ziegler Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA

Abstract. Cerrado is the broadest Savanna ecosystem of South America and has an important role in our global climate. How rainfall finds it way through the vegetation layers of the undisturbed Cerrado forest is of utmost importance to understand the evaporation process and the water availability in this unique ecosytem. Nonetheless, only few studies consider the partitioning of rainfall in the Cerrado. And if they do, these studies are limited by only considering interception by the canopy, while the forest floor can intercept a significant amount as well. Additionally, the studies often apply canopy interception models that were calibrated on short term monitoring. Hence evaluating how interception models perform at different time-scales and how the interception process responds to seasonal changes is poorly understood for the Cerrado forest. In this study we aimed to evaluate the canopy and forest floor interception estimates at different time-scales and its seasonal response for an undisturbed Cerrado s.s. forest in Brazil. Two commonly used interception models (Rutter and Gash) were adapted to include forest floor interception using observations of both canopy and forest floor interception during a 32 months study period. Our results show that the models are suitable to estimate throughfall and infiltration at daily basis, but not the evaporative processes. We confirmed that both models had limitations to simulate very high interception rates on an event scale. Nonetheless, both models are able to reproduce the total interception well at monthly scale (R2 = 0.7–0.97, NSE = 0.63–0.85), and they can represent seasonal trends in the interception process in Cerrado s.s. forests. Nevertheless, the Rutter model seems to perform better when seasonal parameters are used than the Gash model, but both models are equally valuable to inter-annual analysis when non-seasonal parameters are used.

Lívia M. P. Rosalem et al.

Status: open (until 01 Jul 2022)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2022-59', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 May 2022 reply

Lívia M. P. Rosalem et al.

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Lívia M. P. Rosalem et al.


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Short summary
We monitored the interception process on an undisturbed savanna forest and applied two interception models to evaluate their performance at different time scales and study their seasonal response. As results, both models performed well at a monthly scale and could represent the seasonal trends observed. However, they presented some limitations to predict the evaporative processes on a daily basis.