Special Issue "Advances in Rainfall and Evaporation Partitioning"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrogeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Miriam Coenders
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Water Management, Delft University of Technology, 2600 GA, The Netherlands
Interests: evaporation, evaporation partitioning, stable water isotopes, DTS
Dr. John T. Van Stan, II
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460-8149, USA
Interests: ecohydrology; partitioning of precipitation by vegetation; evaporation estimation, monitoring and modelling; hydrological and land-surface modelling; carbon and nitrogen cycling of inland waters; dissolved organic matter biogeochemistry; epiphyte-precipitation interactions; predictions and modelling of hydrological extremes; instrumentation for monitoring plant-water relations; hydrometeorology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Geosciences aims to gather high-quality original research articles, reviews, and technical notes on advances in rainfall and evaporation partitioning.

Rainfall that hits the vegetated surface has many options: it can be intercepted by the canopy or flow down as throughfall and/or stemflow. Along its way down, the latter two flows successively hit the understory vegetation and/or forest floor, from where it can again be intercepted or finally infiltrate into the unsaturated zone. This cascade of multiple interception storages makes it difficult to quantify the interception process. First of all, identifying all possible interception storages and quantifying their magnitude is not straightforward, since it changes both in time (vegetation phenology, and seasonality) and space (heterogeneity). However, determining the evaporation from the different interception storages is complex, since each storage has different microclimatic conditions (e.g., radiation, wind, and humidity), which are interdependent as well. Additionally, methods that focus on measuring the evaporation flux have trouble with distinguishing vapour originating from interception and transpiration, since most methods are only capable of measuring the total evaporation. Hence, if we want to understand how vegetation redistributes the rainfall, we should consider the entire process of rainfall and evaporation partitioning.

In this Special Issue, we focus on studies that deal with novel observation or model techniques that aim to increase our understanding of rainfall and evaporation partitioning, both in time and space, and on a small scale as well as a regional–global scale.

Dr. Miriam Coenders
Dr. John T. Van Stan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • interception
  • transpiration
  • throughfall
  • stemflow
  • infiltration

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Spatial and Temporal Variability of Throughfall among Oak and Co-Occurring Non-Oak Tree Species in an Upland Hardwood Forest
Geosciences 2019, 9(10), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9100405 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Canopy throughfall comprises the largest portion of net precipitation that is delivered to the forest floor. This water flux is highly variable across space and time and is influenced by species composition, canopy foliage, stand structure, and storm meteorological characteristics. In upland forests [...] Read more.
Canopy throughfall comprises the largest portion of net precipitation that is delivered to the forest floor. This water flux is highly variable across space and time and is influenced by species composition, canopy foliage, stand structure, and storm meteorological characteristics. In upland forests throughout the central hardwoods region of the Eastern United States, a compositional shift is occurring from oak-hickory to more mesic, shade-tolerant species such as red maple, sweetgum, and winged elm. To better understand the impacts of this shift on throughfall flux and the hydrologic budget, we monitored throughfall for one year in Northern Mississippi under the crowns of midstory and overstory oak (post oak and southern red oak) and non-oak species (hickory, red maple, and winged elm). In general, oak had more throughfall than co-occurring non-oak species in both canopy levels. In the overstory during the leaf-off canopy phase, white oak had relatively higher throughfall partitioning (standardized z-score = 0.54) compared to all other species (z-score = −0.02) (p = 0.004), while in the leaf-on canopy phase, red maple had relatively lower throughfall (z-score = −0.36) partitioning compared to all other species (z-score = 0.11). In the midstory, red maple was the only species to exhibit a difference in throughfall between canopy phases, with much lower throughfall in the leaf-off compared to the leaf-on canopy phase (z-score = −0.30 vs. 0.202, p = 0.039). Additionally, throughfall under oak crowns was less variable than under non-oak crowns. These results provide evidence that the spatial and temporal distribution of throughfall inputs under oak crowns are different than non-oak species, likely due to differences in crown architecture (i.e., depth and density). As oak dominance diminishes in these forests, it is possible that the portion of rainfall diverted to throughfall may decrease as well. The net impacts to watershed hydrology are still unknown, but these results provide one mechanism by which the distribution of water resources may be affected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rainfall and Evaporation Partitioning)
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Open AccessArticle
Small Scale Rainfall Partitioning in a European Beech Forest Ecosystem Reveals Heterogeneity of Leaf Area Index and Its Connectivity to Hydro-and Atmosphere
Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090393 - 10 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
(1) Background: Leaf area index (LAI) is an essential structural property of plant canopies and is functionally related to fluxes of energy, water, carbon, and light in ecosystems; coupling the biosphere to the geo-, hydro-, and atmosphere. There is an increasing need for [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Leaf area index (LAI) is an essential structural property of plant canopies and is functionally related to fluxes of energy, water, carbon, and light in ecosystems; coupling the biosphere to the geo-, hydro-, and atmosphere. There is an increasing need for more accurate and traceable measurements among several spatial scales of investigation and modelling. We hypothesize that the spatial variability of LAI at the scale of crown sections of a single European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) tree in a highly structured, mixed European beech-Norway spruce stand can be determined by simultaneous records of precipitation; (2) Methods: Spatially explicit measurements of throughfall were conducted repeatedly below beech and in forest gaps for rain events in leafed and in leafless periods. Subsequent analysis with a new regression approach resulted in estimating leaf and twig water storage capacities (SCleaf/twig) at point level independent of within-crown lateral flow mechanisms. Inverse modelling was used to estimate spatial litterfall (n = 99) distribution and litter production (mass, area, numbers) for single trees, as a function of diameter at breast height; (3) Results: As revealed by a linear mixed-effects model, SCleaf at the center of a beech canopies amounts to 4.9 mm in average and significantly decreases in the direction of the crown edges to an average value of 1.1 mm. Based on diameter-sensitive prediction of litter production, specific leaf area wetting capacity amounts to 0.260 l·m−2. A linear within-canopy dynamic of LAI was found with a mean of 17.6 m2·m−2 in the center and 4.0 m2·m−2 at the edges; and (4) Conclusions: The application of the method provided plausible results and can be extended to further throughfall datasets and tree species. Unravelling the causes and magnitude of spatial- and temporal heterogeneity of forest ecosystem properties contribute to overall progress in geosciences by improving the understanding how the biosphere relates to the hydro- and atmosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rainfall and Evaporation Partitioning)
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Open AccessArticle
Ecohydrological Behaviour of Mountain Beech Forest: Quantification of Stomatal Conductance Using Sap Flow Measurements
Geosciences 2019, 9(5), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9050243 - 26 May 2019
Abstract
In forested regions, transpiration as a main component of evaporation fluxes is important for evaporation partitioning. Physiological behaviours among various vegetation species are quite different. Thus, an accurate estimation of the transpiration rate from a certain tree species needs specific parameterization of stomatal [...] Read more.
In forested regions, transpiration as a main component of evaporation fluxes is important for evaporation partitioning. Physiological behaviours among various vegetation species are quite different. Thus, an accurate estimation of the transpiration rate from a certain tree species needs specific parameterization of stomatal response to multiple environmental conditions. In this study, we chose a 300-m2 beech forest plot located in Vydra basin, the Czech Republic, to investigate the transpiration of beech (Fagus sylvatica) from the middle of the vegetative period to the beginning of the deciduous period, covering 100 days. The sap flow equipment was installed in six trees with varying ages among 32 trees in the plot, and the measurements were used to infer the stomatal conductance. The diurnal pattern of stomatal conductance and the response of stomatal conductance under the multiple environmental conditions were analysed. The results show that the stomatal conductance inferred from sap flow reached the highest at midday but, on some days, there was a significant drop at midday, which might be attributed to the limits of the hydraulic potential of leaves (trees). The response of stomatal conductance showed no pattern with solar radiation and soil moisture, but it did show a clear correlation with the vapour deficit, in particular when explaining the midday drop. The relation to temperature was rather scattered as the measured period was in the moderate climate. The findings highlighted that the parametrization of stress functions based on the typical deciduous forest does not perfectly represent the measured stomatal response of beech. Therefore, measurements of sap flow can assist in better understanding transpiration in newly formed beech stands after bark beetle outbreaks in Central Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rainfall and Evaporation Partitioning)
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Open AccessArticle
Interception of Rainfall in Successional Tropical Dry Forests in Brazil and Costa Rica
Geosciences 2018, 8(12), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120486 - 14 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Tropical dry forests (TDF) are endangered ecosystems characterized by a matrix of successional forest patches with structural differences across the Neotropics. Until now, there have been few studies that analyze the partitioning of rainfall by forest interception in TDF. To contribute to the [...] Read more.
Tropical dry forests (TDF) are endangered ecosystems characterized by a matrix of successional forest patches with structural differences across the Neotropics. Until now, there have been few studies that analyze the partitioning of rainfall by forest interception in TDF. To contribute to the understanding of the TDF impact on the hydrological dynamic at the ecosystem and landscape levels, a rainfall interception study was conducted in Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica (SRNP) and in Mata Seca State Park in Brazil (MSSP). In each site, three plots per successional stage were studied. The successional stages were early, intermediate, and late. In each plot the rainfall, throughfall, and stemflow were monitored during one rainy season. The relationship between gross rainfall and water fluxes was evaluated using linear regression models. In general, net rainfall oscillated from 79.3% to 85.4% of gross rainfall in all the plots in MSSP without any trend related to forest succession, due to the effect of a high density of lianas in the intermediate and late stage plots. In SRNP, there was a clear trend of net rainfall among successional stages: 87.5% (early), 73.0% (intermediate), and 63.4% (late). Net rainfall correlated negatively only with plant area index in SRNP (r = −0.755, p < 0.05). This study highlights the need to study rainfall interception in successional stages to estimate net rainfall that reaches the soil. This would provide better hydrological information to understand water balance and water fluxes at the level of forest ecosystems and landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rainfall and Evaporation Partitioning)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Early European Observations of Precipitation Partitioning by Vegetation: A Synthesis and Evaluation of 19th Century Findings
Geosciences 2019, 9(10), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9100423 - 30 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The first contact between precipitation and the land surface is often a plant canopy. The resulting precipitation partitioning by vegetation returns water back to the atmosphere (evaporation of intercepted precipitation) and redistributes water to the subcanopy surface as a “drip” flux (throughfall) and [...] Read more.
The first contact between precipitation and the land surface is often a plant canopy. The resulting precipitation partitioning by vegetation returns water back to the atmosphere (evaporation of intercepted precipitation) and redistributes water to the subcanopy surface as a “drip” flux (throughfall) and water that drains down plant stems (stemflow). Prior to the first benchmark publication of the field by Horton in 1919, European observatories and experimental stations had been observing precipitation partitioning since the mid-19th century. In this paper, we describe these early monitoring networks and studies of precipitation partitioning and show the impressive level of detail. Next to a description of the early studies, results included in this synthesis have been digitized and analyzed to compare them to recent studies. Although many early studies lack modern statistical analyses and monitoring tools that have become standard today, they had many strengths (not necessarily shared by every study, of course), including: A rigorous level of detail regarding stand characteristics (which is often lacking in modern ecohydrological studies); high-resolution spatiotemporal throughfall experiments; and chronosequential data collection and analysis. Moreover, these early studies reveal the roots of interest in precipitation partitioning processes and represent a generally forgotten piece of history shared by the hydrology, meteorology, forestry, and agricultural scientific communities. These studies are therefore relevant today and we hope modern scientists interested in plant-precipitation interactions will find new inspiration in our synthesis and evaluation of this literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rainfall and Evaporation Partitioning)
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Open AccessReview
Arboreal Epiphytes in the Soil-Atmosphere Interface: How Often Are the Biggest “Buckets” in the Canopy Empty?
Geosciences 2019, 9(8), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9080342 - 05 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Arboreal epiphytes (plants residing in forest canopies) are present across all major climate zones and play important roles in forest biogeochemistry. The substantial water storage capacity per unit area of the epiphyte “bucket” is a key attribute underlying their capability to influence forest [...] Read more.
Arboreal epiphytes (plants residing in forest canopies) are present across all major climate zones and play important roles in forest biogeochemistry. The substantial water storage capacity per unit area of the epiphyte “bucket” is a key attribute underlying their capability to influence forest hydrological processes and their related mass and energy flows. It is commonly assumed that the epiphyte bucket remains saturated, or near-saturated, most of the time; thus, epiphytes (particularly vascular epiphytes) can store little precipitation, limiting their impact on the forest canopy water budget. We present evidence that contradicts this common assumption from (i) an examination of past research; (ii) new datasets on vascular epiphyte and epi-soil water relations at a tropical montane cloud forest (Monteverde, Costa Rica); and (iii) a global evaluation of non-vascular epiphyte saturation state using a process-based vegetation model, LiBry. All analyses found that the external and internal water storage capacity of epiphyte communities is highly dynamic and frequently available to intercept precipitation. Globally, non-vascular epiphytes spend <20% of their time near saturation and regionally, including the humid tropics, model results found that non-vascular epiphytes spend ~1/3 of their time in the dry state (0–10% of water storage capacity). Even data from Costa Rican cloud forest sites found the epiphyte community was saturated only 1/3 of the time and that internal leaf water storage was temporally dynamic enough to aid in precipitation interception. Analysis of the epi-soils associated with epiphytes further revealed the extent to which the epiphyte bucket emptied—as even the canopy soils were often <50% saturated (29–53% of all days observed). Results clearly show that the epiphyte bucket is more dynamic than currently assumed, meriting further research on epiphyte roles in precipitation interception, redistribution to the surface and chemical composition of “net” precipitation waters reaching the surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rainfall and Evaporation Partitioning)
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