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Water 2018, 10(8), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081090

Comparison of the Roles of Optimizing Root Distribution and the Water Uptake Function in Simulating Water and Heat Fluxes within a Maize Agroecosystem

1
Institute of Atmospheric Environment, China Meteorological Administration, Shenyang 110166, China
2
Liaoning Province Meteorological Service Center, Shenyang 110166, China
3
Jinzhou Ecology and Agriculture Meteorological Center, Jinzhou 121001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 May 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrology in Agriculture)
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Abstract

Roots are an important water transport pathway between soil and plant. Root water uptake (RWU) plays a key role in water and heat exchange between plants and the atmosphere. Inaccurate RWU schemes in land surface models are one crucial reason for decreased model performance. Despite some types of RWU functions being adopted in land surface models, none have been certified as suitable for maize farmland ecosystems. Based on 2007–2009 data observed at the maize agroecosystem field station in Jinzhou, China, the RWU function and root distribution (RD) in the Common Land Model (CoLM) were optimized and the effects of the optimizations on model performance were compared. Results showed that RD parameters calculated with root length density were more practical relative to root biomass in reflecting soil water availability, and they improved the simulation accuracy for water and heat fluxes. The modified RWU function also played a significant role in optimizing the simulation of water and heat fluxes. Similarly, the respective and integrated roles of two optimization schemes in improving CoLM performance were significant during continuous non-precipitation days, especially during the key water requirement period of maize. Notably, the improvements were restrained within a threshold of soil water content, and the optimizations were inoperative outside this threshold. Thus, the optimized RWU function and the revised RD introduced into the CoLM model are applicable for simulation of water and heat fluxes for maize farmland ecosystems in arid areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: root water uptake; root length density; land surface model; water and heat flux; maize agroecosystem root water uptake; root length density; land surface model; water and heat flux; maize agroecosystem
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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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Cai, F.; Zhang, Y.; Ming, H.; Mi, N.; Zhang, S.; Zhang, H.; Xie, Y.; Zhao, X. Comparison of the Roles of Optimizing Root Distribution and the Water Uptake Function in Simulating Water and Heat Fluxes within a Maize Agroecosystem. Water 2018, 10, 1090.

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