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Atmosphere 2016, 7(3), 32; doi:10.3390/atmos7030032

Dynamics of Dew in a Cold Desert-Shrub Ecosystem and Its Abiotic Controls

1
Yanchi Research Station, School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2
Key Laboratory of Soil and Water Conservation and Desertification Combating, Beijing Forestry University, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100083, China
3
Faculty of Science and Forestry, School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu FI-80101, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert W. Talbot
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 9 February 2016 / Accepted: 13 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
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Abstract

The temporal dynamics of dew formation in cold desert-shrub ecosystems are still poorly understood. We examined dew and its abiotic controls in a shrubland in northwestern China with continuous eddy-covariance measurements of latent heat fluxes gathered over the growing-season of 2012. The dew amount was larger in mid-summer than in spring and autumn, but the dew duration was shorter in summer (from ~10:00 p.m. to ~6:30 a.m.) than in spring and autumn (from ~8:30 p.m. to ~7:30 a.m.). Dew occurred on 85% (166 days) of growing-season days, with monthly means ranging from 0.09 to 0.16 mm day−1. Dew was dominantly and positively controlled by Relative Humidity (RH), which explained 89% of its variation. Soil heat flux (G), air temperature (Ta), wind speed (Ws), Soil Water Content (SWC) and Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD) also influenced dew formation. The most favorable conditions for dew formation were at Ta < 17 °C and RH > 75%. The Penman–Monteith equation predicted actual dew reasonably well. The predicted growing-season dew amount (21.3 mm) was equivalent to 7.2% and 8.9% of corresponding rainfall and evapotranspiration, respectively. It is suggested that dew could be a stable and continuous source of water that helps desert plants survive during warm summers. View Full-Text
Keywords: dew; eddy covariance; abiotic controls; Penman–Monteith equation dew; eddy covariance; abiotic controls; Penman–Monteith equation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, X.; Zha, T.; Jia, X.; Wu, B.; Feng, W.; Xie, J.; Gong, J.; Zhang, Y.; Peltola, H. Dynamics of Dew in a Cold Desert-Shrub Ecosystem and Its Abiotic Controls. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 32.

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