Remote sensing and ground-based measurements of evapotranspiration in an extreme cold Patagonian desert

Authors
Cristiano, Piedad María; Pereyra, Daniel Alberto; Bucci, Sandra Janet; Madanes, Nora; Scholz, Fabian Gustavo; Goldstein, Guillermo Hernan
Publication Year
2016
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
Accurate estimates of seasonal evapotranspiration (ET) at different temporal and spatial scales are essential for understanding the biological and environmental determinants of ecosystem water balance in arid regions and the patterns of water utilization by the vegetation. For this purpose, remote sensing ET estimates of a Patagonian desert in Southern Argentina were verified with field measurements of soil evaporation and plant transpiration using an open top chamber. Root distribution and seasonal variation in soil volumetric water content were also analysed. There was a high correlation between remote sensing and field measurements of ecosystem water fluxes. A substantial amount of the annual ET occurred in spring and early summer (73.4 mm) using winter rain stored in the soil profile and resulting in water content depletion of the upper soil layers. A smaller amount of annual ET was derived from few rainfall events occurring during the mid or late summer (41.4 mm). According to remote sensing, the 92.9% of the mean annual precipitation returns to the atmosphere by transpiration or evaporation from the bare soil and by canopy interception. Only 7.1% infiltrates to soil layers deeper than 200 cm contributing to the water table recharge. Fourier time series analysis, cross-correlation methods and multiple linear regression models were used to analyse 11 years of remote sensing data to assess determinants of water fluxes. A linear model predicts well the variables that drive complex ecosystem processes such as ET. Leaf area index and air temperature were not linearly correlated to ET because of the multiple interaction among variables resulting in time lags with ET variations and thus these two variables were not included in the linear model. Soil water content, the fraction of photosynthetic active radiation and precipitation explained 86% of the ET monthly variations. The high volumetric water content and the small seasonal variations at 200-cm depth were probably the result of little water uptake from deeper soil horizons by roots with low hydraulic conductivity. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Fil: Cristiano, Piedad María. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Ciudad Universitaria. Instituto de Ecología, Genética y Evolución de Buenos Aires. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Ecología, Genética y Evolución de Buenos Aires; Argentina
Fil: Pereyra, Daniel Alberto. Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco; Argentina
Fil: Bucci, Sandra Janet. Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco; Argentina
Fil: Madanes, Nora. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Ciudad Universitaria. Instituto de Ecología, Genética y Evolución de Buenos Aires. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Ecología, Genética y Evolución de Buenos Aires; Argentina
Fil: Scholz, Fabian Gustavo. Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco; Argentina
Fil: Goldstein, Guillermo Hernan. Miami University; Estados Unidos. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Ciudad Universitaria. Instituto de Ecología, Genética y Evolución de Buenos Aires. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Ecología, Genética y Evolución de Buenos Aires; Argentina
Subject
MODIS
PRECIPITATION PULSES
ROOT DISTRIBUTION
SOIL WATER CONTENT
TEMPERATURE
WATER BALANCE
Otras Ciencias Biológicas
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Open access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/54224