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Title: The importance of radiation for semiempirical water-use efficiency models

Abstract

Water-use efficiency (WUE) is a fundamental property for the coupling of carbon and water cycles in plants and ecosystems. Existing model formulations predicting this variable differ in the type of response of WUE to the atmospheric vapor pressure deficit of water (VPD). We tested a representative WUE model on the ecosystem scale at 110 eddy covariance sites of the FLUXNET initiative by predicting evapotranspiration (ET) based on gross primary productivity (GPP) and VPD. We found that introducing an intercept term in the formulation increases model performance considerably, indicating that an additional factor needs to be considered. We demonstrate that this intercept term varies seasonally and we subsequently associate it with radiation. Replacing the constant intercept term with a linear function of global radiation was found to further improve model predictions of ET. Our new semiempirical ecosystem WUE formulation indicates that, averaged over all sites, this radiation term accounts for up to half (39–47 %) of transpiration. These empirical findings challenge the current understanding of water-use efficiency on the ecosystem scale.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena (Germany). Dept. for Biogeochemical Integration
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1429886
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-04ER63917; FG02-04ER63911
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biogeosciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Biogeosciences (Online); Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Boese, Sven, Jung, Martin, Carvalhais, Nuno, and Reichstein, Markus. The importance of radiation for semiempirical water-use efficiency models. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.5194/bg-14-3015-2017.
Boese, Sven, Jung, Martin, Carvalhais, Nuno, & Reichstein, Markus. The importance of radiation for semiempirical water-use efficiency models. United States. doi:10.5194/bg-14-3015-2017.
Boese, Sven, Jung, Martin, Carvalhais, Nuno, and Reichstein, Markus. Thu . "The importance of radiation for semiempirical water-use efficiency models". United States. doi:10.5194/bg-14-3015-2017. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1429886.
@article{osti_1429886,
title = {The importance of radiation for semiempirical water-use efficiency models},
author = {Boese, Sven and Jung, Martin and Carvalhais, Nuno and Reichstein, Markus},
abstractNote = {Water-use efficiency (WUE) is a fundamental property for the coupling of carbon and water cycles in plants and ecosystems. Existing model formulations predicting this variable differ in the type of response of WUE to the atmospheric vapor pressure deficit of water (VPD). We tested a representative WUE model on the ecosystem scale at 110 eddy covariance sites of the FLUXNET initiative by predicting evapotranspiration (ET) based on gross primary productivity (GPP) and VPD. We found that introducing an intercept term in the formulation increases model performance considerably, indicating that an additional factor needs to be considered. We demonstrate that this intercept term varies seasonally and we subsequently associate it with radiation. Replacing the constant intercept term with a linear function of global radiation was found to further improve model predictions of ET. Our new semiempirical ecosystem WUE formulation indicates that, averaged over all sites, this radiation term accounts for up to half (39–47 %) of transpiration. These empirical findings challenge the current understanding of water-use efficiency on the ecosystem scale.},
doi = {10.5194/bg-14-3015-2017},
journal = {Biogeosciences (Online)},
number = 12,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jun 22 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Jun 22 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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  • Data produced from explicit simulations of observed tropical cloud systems and subtropical stratocumuli are used to develop a {open_quotes}semiempirical{close_quotes} cloudiness parameterization for use in climate models. The semiempirical cloudiness parameterization uses the large-scale average condensate (cloud water and cloud ice) mixing ratio as the primary predictor. The large-scale relative humidity and cumulus mass flux are also used in the parameterization as secondary predictors. The cloud amount is assumed to vary exponentially with the large-scale average condensate mixing ratio. The rate of variation is, however, a function of large-scale relative humidity and the intensity of convective circulations. The validity of suchmore » a semiempirical approach and its dependency on cloud regime and horizontal-averaging distance are explored with the simulated datasets. 42 refs., 14 figs, 1 tab.« less
  • Our aim is to investigate how ecosystem water-use efficiency (WUE) varies spatially under different climate conditions, and how spatial variations in WUE differ from those of transpiration-based water-use efficiency (WUE t) and transpiration-based inherent water-use efficiency (IWUE t). LocationGlobal terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated spatial patterns of WUE using two datasets of gross primary productivity (GPP) and evapotranspiration (ET) and four biosphere model estimates of GPP and ET. Spatial relationships between WUE and climate variables were further explored through regression analyses. Global WUE estimated by two satellite-based datasets is 1.9 ± 0.1 and 1.8 ± 0.6g C m -2mm -1 lowermore » than the simulations from four process-based models (2.0 ± 0.3g C m -2mm -1) but comparable within the uncertainty of both approaches. In both satellite-based datasets and process models, precipitation is more strongly associated with spatial gradients of WUE for temperate and tropical regions, but temperature dominates north of 50 degrees N. WUE also increases with increasing solar radiation at high latitudes. The values of WUE from datasets and process-based models are systematically higher in wet regions (with higher GPP) than in dry regions. WUE t shows a lower precipitation sensitivity than WUE, which is contrary to leaf- and plant-level observations. IWUE t, the product of WUE t and water vapour deficit, is found to be rather conservative with spatially increasing precipitation, in agreement with leaf- and plant-level measurements. In conclusion, WUE, WUE t and IWUE t produce different spatial relationships with climate variables. In dry ecosystems, water losses from evaporation from bare soil, uncorrelated with productivity, tend to make WUE lower than in wetter regions. Yet canopy conductance is intrinsically efficient in those ecosystems and maintains a higher IWUEt. This suggests that the responses of each component flux of evapotranspiration should be analysed separately when investigating regional gradients in WUE, its temporal variability and its trends.« less
  • Measurements of the stable carbon isotope ratio ( δ 13C) on annual tree rings offer new opportunities to evaluate mechanisms of variations in photosynthesis and stomatal conductance under changing CO 2 and climate conditions, especially in conjunction with process-based biogeochemical model simulations. The isotopic discrimination is indicative of the ratio between the CO 2 partial pressure in the intercellular cavities and the atmosphere ( c i/ c a) and of the ratio of assimilation to stomatal conductance, termed intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE). We performed isotope-enabled simulations over the industrial period with the land biosphere module (CLM4.5) of the Community Earthmore » System Model and the Land Surface Processes and Exchanges (LPX-Bern) dynamic global vegetation model. Results for C3 tree species show good agreement with a global compilation of δ 13C measurements on leaves, though modeled 13C discrimination by C3 trees is smaller in arid regions than measured. A compilation of 76 tree-ring records, mainly from Europe, boreal Asia, and western North America, suggests on average small 20th century changes in isotopic discrimination and in c i/ c a and an increase in iWUE of about 27% since 1900. LPX-Bern results match these century-scale reconstructions, supporting the idea that the physiology of stomata has evolved to optimize trade-offs between carbon gain by assimilation and water loss by transpiration. In contrast, CLM4.5 simulates an increase in discrimination and in turn a change in iWUE that is almost twice as large as that revealed by the tree-ring data. Factorial simulations show that these changes are mainly in response to rising atmospheric CO 2. The results suggest that the downregulation of c i/ c a and of photosynthesis by nitrogen limitation is possibly too strong in the standard setup of CLM4.5 or that there may be problems associated with the implementation of conductance, assimilation, and related adjustment processes on long-term environmental changes.« less
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