Modelled hydraulic redistribution by sunflower (Helianthus annuus?L.) matches observed data only after including night-time transpiration. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The movement of water from moist to dry soil layers through the root systems of plants, referred to as hydraulic redistribution (HR), occurs throughout the world and is thought to influence carbon and water budgets and ecosystem functioning. The realized hydrologic, biogeochemical and ecological consequences of HR depend on the amount of redistributed water, whereas the ability to assess these impacts requires models that correctly capture HR magnitude and timing. Using several soil types and two ecotypes of sunflower (Helianthus annuus?L.) in split-pot experiments, we examined how well the widely used HR modelling formulation developed by Ryel et?al. matched experimental determination of HR across a range of water potential driving gradients. H.?annuus carries out extensive night-time transpiration, and although over the last decade it has become more widely recognized that night-time transpiration occurs in multiple species and many ecosystems, the original Ryel et?al. formulation does not include the effect of night-time transpiration on HR. We developed and added a representation of night-time transpiration into the formulation, and only then was the model able to capture the dynamics and magnitude of HR we observed as soils dried and night-time stomatal behaviour changed, both influencing HR.

publication date

  • April 2014