Vegetation Regulation on Streamflow Intra-Annual Variability through Adaption to Climate Variations

TitleVegetation Regulation on Streamflow Intra-Annual Variability through Adaption to Climate Variations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume42
Number23
Pages10307-10315
Date Published12/2015
Abstract / Summary

This study aims to provide a mechanistic explanation of the empirical patterns of streamflow intra-annual variability revealed by watershed-scale hydrological data across the contiguous United States. A mathematical extension of the Budyko formula with explicit account for the soil moisture storage change is used to show that, in catchments with a strong seasonal coupling between precipitation and potential evaporation, climate aridity has a dominant control on intra-annual streamflow variability. But in other catchments, additional factors related to soil water storage change also have important controls on how precipitation seasonality propagates to streamflow. More importantly, use of leaf area index as a direct and indirect indicator of the above ground biomass and plant root system, respectively, reveals the vital role of vegetation in regulating soil moisture storage and hence streamflow intra-annual variability under different climate conditions.

URLhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/2015GL066396/abstract
DOI10.1002/2015GL066396
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Year of Publication: 2015
Volume: 42
Number: 23
Pages: 10307-10315
Date Published: 12/2015

This study aims to provide a mechanistic explanation of the empirical patterns of streamflow intra-annual variability revealed by watershed-scale hydrological data across the contiguous United States. A mathematical extension of the Budyko formula with explicit account for the soil moisture storage change is used to show that, in catchments with a strong seasonal coupling between precipitation and potential evaporation, climate aridity has a dominant control on intra-annual streamflow variability. But in other catchments, additional factors related to soil water storage change also have important controls on how precipitation seasonality propagates to streamflow. More importantly, use of leaf area index as a direct and indirect indicator of the above ground biomass and plant root system, respectively, reveals the vital role of vegetation in regulating soil moisture storage and hence streamflow intra-annual variability under different climate conditions.

DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066396
Citation:
2015.  "Vegetation Regulation on Streamflow Intra-Annual Variability through Adaption to Climate Variations."  Geophysical Research Letters 42(23): 10307-10315.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL066396.