Soil moisture depletion under simulated drought in the Amazon: impacts on deep root uptake

18 de agosto de 2010

ago 18, 2010

Daniel Markewitz, Scott Devine, Eric A. Davidson, Paulo Brando, Daniel C. Nepstad

Deep root water uptake in tropical Amazonian forests has been a major discovery during the last 15 yr. However, the effects of extended droughts, which may increase with climate change, on deep soil moisture utilization remain uncertain.

The current study utilized a 1999–2005 record of volumetric water content (VWC) under a throughfall exclusion experiment to calibrate a one-dimensional model of the hydrologic system to estimate VWC, and to quantify the rate of root uptake through 11.5 m of soil.

Simulations with root uptake compensation had a relative root mean square error (RRMSE) of 11% at 0–40 cm and < 5% at 350–1150 cm. The simulated contribution of deep root uptake under the control was c. 20% of water demand from 250 to 550 cm and c. 10% from 550 to 1150 cm. Furthermore, in years 2 (2001) and 3 (2002) of throughfall exclusion, deep root uptake increased as soil moisture was available but then declined to near zero in deep layers in 2003 and 2004.

Deep root uptake was limited despite high VWC (i.e. > 0.30 cm3 cm)3). This limitation may partly be attributable to high residual water contents (hr) in these high-clay (70–90%) soils or due to high soil-to-root resistance. The ability of deep roots and soils to contribute increasing amounts of water with extended drought will be limited.

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