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Title: Evapotranspiration is resilient in the face of land cover and climate change in a humid temperate catchment

Abstract

In temperate humid catchments, evapotranspiration returns more than half of the annual precipitation to the atmosphere, thereby determining the balance available to recharge groundwaters and support stream flow and lake levels. Changes in evapotranspiration rates and, therefore, catchment hydrology could be driven by changes in land use or climate. Here, we examine the catchment water balance over the past 50 years for a catchment in southwest Michigan covered by cropland, grassland, forest, and wetlands. Over the study period, about 27% of the catchment has been abandoned from row-crop agriculture to perennial vegetation and about 20% of the catchment has reverted to deciduous forest, and the climate has warmed by 1.14 °C. Despite these changes in land use, the precipitation and stream discharge, and by inference catchment-scale evapotranspiration, have been stable over the study period. The remarkably stable rates of evapotranspirative water loss from the catchment across a period of significant land cover change suggest that rainfed annual crops and perennial vegetation do not differ greatly in evapotranspiration rates, and this is supported by measurements of evapotranspiration from various vegetation types based on soil water monitoring in the same catchment. Compensating changes in the other meteorological drivers of evaporative water demandmore » besides air temperature—wind speed, atmospheric humidity, and net radiation—are also possible but cannot be evaluated due to insufficient local data across the 50-year period. In conclusion, regardless of the explanation, this study shows that the water balance of this landscape has been resilient in the face of both land cover and climate change over the past 50 years.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5]
  1. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). W.K. Kellogg Biological Station; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Integrative Biology
  2. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). W.K. Kellogg Biological Station; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
  3. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Mathematics
  4. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). W.K. Kellogg Biological Station; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  5. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). W.K. Kellogg Biological Station; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1459429
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0018409; FC02-07ER64494; AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Hydrological Processes
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 32; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0885-6087
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Climate change; crops; evaporation; evapotranspiration; forest; land use

Citation Formats

Hamilton, Stephen K., Hussain, M. Z., Lowrie, Christopher, Basso, B., and Robertson, G. P. Evapotranspiration is resilient in the face of land cover and climate change in a humid temperate catchment. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1002/hyp.11447.
Hamilton, Stephen K., Hussain, M. Z., Lowrie, Christopher, Basso, B., & Robertson, G. P. Evapotranspiration is resilient in the face of land cover and climate change in a humid temperate catchment. United States. doi:10.1002/hyp.11447.
Hamilton, Stephen K., Hussain, M. Z., Lowrie, Christopher, Basso, B., and Robertson, G. P. Mon . "Evapotranspiration is resilient in the face of land cover and climate change in a humid temperate catchment". United States. doi:10.1002/hyp.11447. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1459429.
@article{osti_1459429,
title = {Evapotranspiration is resilient in the face of land cover and climate change in a humid temperate catchment},
author = {Hamilton, Stephen K. and Hussain, M. Z. and Lowrie, Christopher and Basso, B. and Robertson, G. P.},
abstractNote = {In temperate humid catchments, evapotranspiration returns more than half of the annual precipitation to the atmosphere, thereby determining the balance available to recharge groundwaters and support stream flow and lake levels. Changes in evapotranspiration rates and, therefore, catchment hydrology could be driven by changes in land use or climate. Here, we examine the catchment water balance over the past 50 years for a catchment in southwest Michigan covered by cropland, grassland, forest, and wetlands. Over the study period, about 27% of the catchment has been abandoned from row-crop agriculture to perennial vegetation and about 20% of the catchment has reverted to deciduous forest, and the climate has warmed by 1.14 °C. Despite these changes in land use, the precipitation and stream discharge, and by inference catchment-scale evapotranspiration, have been stable over the study period. The remarkably stable rates of evapotranspirative water loss from the catchment across a period of significant land cover change suggest that rainfed annual crops and perennial vegetation do not differ greatly in evapotranspiration rates, and this is supported by measurements of evapotranspiration from various vegetation types based on soil water monitoring in the same catchment. Compensating changes in the other meteorological drivers of evaporative water demand besides air temperature—wind speed, atmospheric humidity, and net radiation—are also possible but cannot be evaluated due to insufficient local data across the 50-year period. In conclusion, regardless of the explanation, this study shows that the water balance of this landscape has been resilient in the face of both land cover and climate change over the past 50 years.},
doi = {10.1002/hyp.11447},
journal = {Hydrological Processes},
number = 5,
volume = 32,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Biofuel, land and water: maize, switchgrass or Miscanthus ?
    journal, February 2013


    Land cover and water yield: inference problems when comparing catchments with mixed land cover
    journal, January 2012

    • van Dijk, A. I. J. M.; Peña-Arancibia, J. L.; (Sampurno) Bruijnzeel, L. A.
    • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 16, Issue 9
    • DOI: 10.5194/hess-16-3461-2012

    Evapotranspiration of annual and perennial biofuel crops in a variable climate
    journal, February 2015

    • Abraha, Michael; Chen, Jiquan; Chu, Housen
    • GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 7, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12239

    Global review and synthesis of trends in observed terrestrial near-surface wind speeds: Implications for evaporation
    journal, January 2012


    Prevailing Myths About Agricultural Abandonment and Forest Regrowth in the United States
    journal, June 2010

    • Ramankutty, Navin; Heller, Elizabeth; Rhemtulla, Jeanine
    • Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 100, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1080/00045601003788876

    Plants and climate change: complexities and surprises
    journal, November 2015


    A review of paired catchment studies for determining changes in water yield resulting from alterations in vegetation
    journal, August 2005


    Impact of forest cover changes on annual streamflow and flow duration curves
    journal, March 2013


    Automated web gis Based Hydrograph Analysis Tool, what
    journal, December 2005


    Cropland expansion outpaces agricultural and biofuel policies in the United States
    journal, April 2015


    Implications for the hydrologic cycle under climate change due to the expansion of bioenergy crops in the Midwestern United States
    journal, August 2011

    • Le, P. V. V.; Kumar, P.; Drewry, D. T.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, Issue 37
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1107177108

    Sustainable bioenergy production from marginal lands in the US Midwest
    journal, January 2013

    • Gelfand, Ilya; Sahajpal, Ritvik; Zhang, Xuesong
    • Nature, Vol. 493, Issue 7433
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature11811

    Effects of watershed topography, soils, land use, and climate on baseflow hydrology in humid regions: A review
    journal, May 2011


    Changes in terrestrial carbon storage in the United States. 1: The roles of agriculture and forestry
    journal, March 2000


    Agriculture-Related Trends in Groundwater Quality of the Glacial Deposits Aquifer, Central Wisconsin
    journal, January 2008

    • Saad, David A.
    • Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 37, Issue 5_Supplement
    • DOI: 10.2134/jeq2007.0053

    Assessing the Impact of Management Strategies on Water Use Efficiency Using Soil–Plant–Atmosphere Models
    journal, January 2012


    Comparative water use by maize, perennial crops, restored prairie, and poplar trees in the US Midwest
    journal, June 2015


    A review of catchment experiments to determine the effect of vegetation changes on water yield and evapotranspiration
    journal, February 1982


    Less bluster ahead? Ecohydrological implications of global trends of terrestrial near-surface wind speeds: WIND SPEED TRENDS AND ECOHYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES
    journal, July 2012

    • McVicar, Tim R.; Roderick, Michael L.; Donohue, Randall J.
    • Ecohydrology, Vol. 5, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1002/eco.1298

    On the importance of including vegetation dynamics in Budyko's hydrological model
    journal, January 2007

    • Donohue, R. J.; Roderick, M. L.; McVicar, T. R.
    • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 11, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.5194/hess-11-983-2007

    Multi-decadal trends in global terrestrial evapotranspiration and its components
    journal, January 2016

    • Zhang, Yongqiang; Peña-Arancibia, Jorge L.; McVicar, Tim R.
    • Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/srep19124

    Impact of CO 2 fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe's warm, arid environments : CO
    journal, June 2013

    • Donohue, Randall J.; Roderick, Michael L.; McVicar, Tim R.
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 40, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1002/grl.50563

    A regional comparison of water use efficiency for miscanthus, switchgrass and maize
    journal, October 2012