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Title: Matching ecohydrological processes and scales of banded vegetation patterns in semiarid catchments

Abstract

While the claim that water-carbon interactions result in spatially coherent vegetation patterning is rarely disputed in many arid and semiarid regions, the significance of the detailed water pathways and other high frequency variability remain an open question. How the short temporal scale meteorological fluctuations form the long-term spatial variability of available soil water in complex terrains due to the various hydrological, land surface, and vegetation dynamic feedbacks frames the scope of the work here. Knowledge of the detailed mechanistic feedbacks among soil, plants, and the atmosphere will lead to advances in our understanding of plant water availability in arid and semiarid ecosystems and will provide insights for future model development concerning vegetation pattern formation. In this paper, quantitative estimates of water fluxes and vegetation productivity are provided for a semiarid ecosystem with established vegetation bands on hillslopes using numerical simulations. A state-of-the-science process based ecohydrological model is used, which resolves hydrological and plant physiological processes at the relevant space and time scales, for relatively small periods (e.g., decades) of mature ecosystems (i.e., spatially static vegetation distribution). To unfold the mechanisms that shape the spatial distribution of soil moisture, plant productivity and the relevant surface/subsurface and atmospheric water fluxes, idealized hillslopemore » numerical experiments are constructed, where the effects of soil type, slope steepness, and overland flow accumulation area are quantified. Those mechanisms are also simulated in the presence of complex topography features on landscapes. Finally, the main results are (a) short temporal scale meteorological variability and accurate representation of the scales at which each ecohydrological process operates are crucial for the estimation of the spatial variability of soil water availability to the plant root zone; (b) water fluxes such as evapotranspiration, infiltration, runoff-run-on, and subsurface soil water movement have a dynamic short temporal scale behavior that determines the long-term spatial organization of plant soil water availability in ecosystems with established vegetation patterns; and (c) hypotheses concerning the hydrological responses that can lead to vegetation pattern formation have to accommodate realistic and physically based representations of the fast dynamics of key ecohydrological fluxes.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom). Faculty of Engineering and the Environment; Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States). Nicholas School of the Environment
  2. Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States). Nicholas School of the Environment. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  3. Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) (Switzerland). Inst. of Environmental Engineering
  4. Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States). Nicholas School of the Environment
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States); Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) (Switzerland)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Science Foundation (NSF); United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA); US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD); Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1469164
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1402135
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0006967; SC0011461; EAR-1344703; AGS-1102227; CBET-103347; 2011-67003-30222; IS-4374-11C; P2EZP2_152244
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 52; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; banded vegetation; ecohydrological modeling; hillslope processes; meteorological temporal variability; semiarid

Citation Formats

Paschalis, Athanasios, Katul, Gabriel G., Fatichi, Simone, Manoli, Gabriele, and Molnar, Peter. Matching ecohydrological processes and scales of banded vegetation patterns in semiarid catchments. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/2015WR017679.
Paschalis, Athanasios, Katul, Gabriel G., Fatichi, Simone, Manoli, Gabriele, & Molnar, Peter. Matching ecohydrological processes and scales of banded vegetation patterns in semiarid catchments. United States. doi:10.1002/2015WR017679.
Paschalis, Athanasios, Katul, Gabriel G., Fatichi, Simone, Manoli, Gabriele, and Molnar, Peter. Thu . "Matching ecohydrological processes and scales of banded vegetation patterns in semiarid catchments". United States. doi:10.1002/2015WR017679. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1469164.
@article{osti_1469164,
title = {Matching ecohydrological processes and scales of banded vegetation patterns in semiarid catchments},
author = {Paschalis, Athanasios and Katul, Gabriel G. and Fatichi, Simone and Manoli, Gabriele and Molnar, Peter},
abstractNote = {While the claim that water-carbon interactions result in spatially coherent vegetation patterning is rarely disputed in many arid and semiarid regions, the significance of the detailed water pathways and other high frequency variability remain an open question. How the short temporal scale meteorological fluctuations form the long-term spatial variability of available soil water in complex terrains due to the various hydrological, land surface, and vegetation dynamic feedbacks frames the scope of the work here. Knowledge of the detailed mechanistic feedbacks among soil, plants, and the atmosphere will lead to advances in our understanding of plant water availability in arid and semiarid ecosystems and will provide insights for future model development concerning vegetation pattern formation. In this paper, quantitative estimates of water fluxes and vegetation productivity are provided for a semiarid ecosystem with established vegetation bands on hillslopes using numerical simulations. A state-of-the-science process based ecohydrological model is used, which resolves hydrological and plant physiological processes at the relevant space and time scales, for relatively small periods (e.g., decades) of mature ecosystems (i.e., spatially static vegetation distribution). To unfold the mechanisms that shape the spatial distribution of soil moisture, plant productivity and the relevant surface/subsurface and atmospheric water fluxes, idealized hillslope numerical experiments are constructed, where the effects of soil type, slope steepness, and overland flow accumulation area are quantified. Those mechanisms are also simulated in the presence of complex topography features on landscapes. Finally, the main results are (a) short temporal scale meteorological variability and accurate representation of the scales at which each ecohydrological process operates are crucial for the estimation of the spatial variability of soil water availability to the plant root zone; (b) water fluxes such as evapotranspiration, infiltration, runoff-run-on, and subsurface soil water movement have a dynamic short temporal scale behavior that determines the long-term spatial organization of plant soil water availability in ecosystems with established vegetation patterns; and (c) hypotheses concerning the hydrological responses that can lead to vegetation pattern formation have to accommodate realistic and physically based representations of the fast dynamics of key ecohydrological fluxes.},
doi = {10.1002/2015WR017679},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
number = 3,
volume = 52,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {2}
}

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