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An underestimated role of precipitation frequency in regulating summer soil moisture

Författare:
  • Chaoyang Wu
  • Jing M. Chen
  • Jukka Pumpanen
  • Alessandro Cescatti
  • Barbara Marcolla
  • Peter D. Blanken
  • Jonas Ardö (Associate Professor)
  • Yanhong Tang
  • Vincenzo Magliulo
  • Teodoro Georgiadis
  • Henrik Soegaard
  • David R. Cook
  • Richard J. Harding
Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1-9
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Environmental Research Letters
Volym: 7
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Institute of Physics, IoP

Sammanfattning

Soil moisture induced droughts are expected to become more frequent under future global climate change. Precipitation has been previously assumed to be mainly responsible for variability in summer soil moisture. However, little is known about the impacts of precipitation frequency on summer soil moisture, either interannually or spatially. To better understand the temporal and spatial drivers of summer drought, 415 site yr measurements observed at 75 flux sites world wide were used to analyze the temporal and spatial relationships between summer soil water content (SWC) and the precipitation frequencies at various temporal scales, i.e., from half-hourly, 3, 6, 12 and 24 h measurements. Summer precipitation was found to be an indicator of interannual SWC variability with r of 0.49 (p < 0.001) for the overall dataset. However, interannual variability in summer SWC was also significantly correlated with the five precipitation frequencies and the sub-daily precipitation frequencies seemed to explain the interannual SWC variability better than the total of precipitation. Spatially, all these precipitation frequencies were better indicators of summer SWC than precipitation totals, but these better performances were only observed in non-forest ecosystems. Our results demonstrate that precipitation frequency may play an important role in regulating both interannual and spatial variations of summer SWC, which has probably been overlooked or underestimated. However, the spatial interpretation should carefully consider other factors, such as the plant functional types and soil characteristics of diverse ecoregions.

Disputation

Nyckelord

  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • summer drought
  • precipitation frequency
  • climate change
  • plant
  • functional types

Övriga

Published
  • BECC
Yes
  • remote sensing
  • ISSN: 1748-9326

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