Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 430, Issue 1–2, pp 73–85 | Cite as

Partitioning water source and sinking process of a groundwater-dependent desert plant community

  • Ran Liu
  • Yugang Wang
  • Congjuan Li
  • Jie Ma
  • Yan Li
Regular Article
  • 146 Downloads

Abstract

Background and aims

Desert plant community is often structured in two distinct layers of woody and herbaceous plants. Partitioning its water source and sinking process remains a key uncertainty in this water-limited ecosystem. Our aims are to partition the evapotranspiration (ET) components into water loss from bare soil, shrub, and herbaceous plants; estimate the contributions of groundwater to ET and shrub layer transpiration (Tshrub); and determine the major drivers of ET components in a groundwater-dependent desert plant community in Central Asia.

Methods

Eddy covariance, static chambers, and micro-lysimeters were used to measure ET and its components (transpiration and evaporation). Oxygen stable isotope and IsoSource model were used to determine the water source of dominant shrubs (Haloxylon ammodendron).

Results

The seasonal pattern of transpiration (T) for the herbaceous layer (Therb) differed markedly from that for Tshrub. Therb reached the maximum values at the beginning of the growing season, and then decreased to nearly zero at the middle and end of the growing seasons. Conversely, Tshurb were able to maintain throughout the growing season due to the deep root access to groundwater. In total, Tshrub, Therb, and evaporation (E) were 70, 16, and 82 mm year−1, they account for 42, 9, and 49% of total ET during 2014. Most of the groundwater was consumed by Tshrub (51 mm year−1), accounted for 73% of Tshrub. The contribution of groundwater to ET was 60 mm year−1, representing more than 35% of total ET during 2014. The seasonal dynamics of Tshrub, Therb, and E were shaped by different drivers: Tshrub: air temperature; Therb: soil water content and herbaceous plant cover; E: net radiation and precipitation.

Conclusions

This study demonstrated that a better understanding of the source and sinking process of ET is crucial for predicting hydrological response under ongoing and projected climatic change scenarios in a groundwater-dependent desert plant community.

Keywords

Desert ecosystem Evaporation Groundwater Transpiration Vegetation components 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank all staff of the Fukang Station of Desert Ecology for their excellent field and laboratory assistance.

Funding information

Financial support was provided by the Xinjiang Province Key Science and Technology projects (2016A03008-4-5), The National Natural Science Foundation of China (41771121, 41730638), Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences (QYZDJ - SSW - DQC014), and Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences (2017476).

References

  1. Anderson M, Norman J, Kustas W, Houborg R, Starks P, Agam N (2008) A thermal-based remote sensing technique for routine mapping of land-surface carbon, water and energy fluxes from field to regional scales. Remote Sens Environ 112(12):4227–4241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Austin AT, Yahdjian L, Stark JM, Belnap J, Porporato A, Norton U, Ravetta DA, Schaeffer SM (2004) Water pulses and biogeochemical cycles in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Oecologia 141(2):221–235CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Baldocchi DD, Xu L (2007) What limits evaporation from Mediterranean oak woodlands—the supply of moisture in the soil, physiological control by plants or the demand by the atmosphere? Adv Water Resour 30:2113–2122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balugani E, Lubczynski MW, Reyes-Acosta L, van der Tol C, Frances AP, Metselaar K (2017) Groundwater and unsaturated zone evaporation and transpiration in a semi-arid open woodland. J Hydrol 547:54–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barbeta A, Penuelas J (2017) Relative contribution of groundwater to plant transpiration estimated with stable isotopes. Sci Rep 7:10580CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Bertram J, Dewar RC (2013) Statistical patterns in tropical tree cover explained by the different water demand of individual trees and grasses. Ecology 94:2138–2144CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Connor S, Nelson PN, Armour JD, Hénault C (2013) Hydrology of a forested riparian zone in an agricultural landscape of the humid tropics. Agric Ecosyst Environ 180:111–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dai Y, Zheng XJ, Tang LS, Li Y (2015) Stable oxygen isotopes reveal distinct water use patterns of two Haloxylom species in the Gurbantonggut Desert. Plant Soil 389:73–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. David TS, Henriques MO, Kurz-Besson C, Nunes J, Valente F, Vaz M, Pereira JS, Siegwolf R, Chaves MM, Gazarini LC, David JS (2007) Water-use strategies in two co-occurring Mediterranean evergreen oaks: surviving the summer drought. Tree Physiol 27:793–803CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. De Arruda PHZ, Vourlitis GL, Santanna FB, Pinto OB, Lobo FD, Nogueira JD (2016) Large net CO2 loss from a grass-dominated tropical savanna in south-central Brazil in response to seasonal and interannual drought. J Geophys Res 121:2110–2124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Elmore AJ, Manning SJ, Mustard JF, Craine JM (2006) Decline in alkali meadow vegetation cover in California: the effects of groundwater extraction and drought. J Appl Ecol 43:770–779CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Emus D, Zolfaghar S, Villalobos-Vega R, Cleverly J, Huete A (2015) Groundwater-dependent ecosystem: recent insights from satellite and field-based studies. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 19:4229–4256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fahle M, Dietrich O (2014) Estimation of evapotranspiration using diurnal groundwater level fluctuations: comparison of different approaches with groundwater lysimeter data. Water Resour Res 50:273–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fan LL, Tang LS, Wu LF, Ma J, Li Y (2013) The limited role of snow water in the growth and development of ephemeral plants in a cold desert. J Veg Sci 25:681–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Favreau G, Cappelaere B, Massuel S, Leblanc M, Boucher M, Boulain N, Leduc C (2009) Land clearing, climate variability, and water resources increase in semiarid southwest Niger: a review. Water Resour Res 45(7)Google Scholar
  16. Fitzpatrick RW, Rengasamy P, Merry RH, Cox JW (2001) Is dryland soil salinisation reversible? The National Dryland Salinity Program. http://www.ndsp.gov.au
  17. Geladi P, Kowalski BR (1986) Partial least-squares regression: a tutorial. Anal Chim Acta 185:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hasper TB, Wallin G, Lamba S, Hall M, Jaramillo F, Laudon H, Linder S, Medhurst JL, Rantfors M, Sigurdsson BD, Uddling J (2016) Water use by Swedish boreal forests in a changing climate. Fun Ecol 30:690–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hu ZM, Yu GR, Zhou YL, Sun XM, Li YN, Shi PL, Wang YF, Song X, Zheng ZM, Zhang L, Li SG (2009) Partitioning of evapotranspiration and its controls in four grassland ecosystems: application of a two-source model. Agric For Meteorol 149:1410–1420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Huang G, Li Y (2015) Phenological transition dictates the seasonal dynamics of ecosystem carbon exchange in a desert steppe. J Veg Sci 26(2):337–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Huxman TE, Snyder KA, Tissue D, Leffler AJ, Ogle K, Pockman WT, Sandquist DR, Potts DL, Schwinning S (2004) Precipitation pulses and carbon fluxes in semiarid and arid ecosystems. Oecologia 141:254–268CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Huxman TE, Wilcox BP, Breshears DD, Scott RL, Snyder KA, Small EE, Hul-tine K, Pockman WT, Jackson RB (2005) Ecohydrological implications of woody plant encroachment. Ecology 86:308–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jackson RB, Canadell J, Ehleringer JR, Mooney HA, Sala OE, Schulze ED (1996) A global analysis of root distributions for terrestrial biomes. Oecologia 108:389–411CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Jasechko S, Sharp ZD, Gibson JJ, Birks SJ, Yi Y, Fawcett PJ (2013) Terrestrial water fluxes dominated by transpiration. Nature 496:347–350CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Joffre R, Rambal S (1993) How tree cover influences the water balance of Mediterranean rangelands. Ecology 74:570–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kershaw KA, Looney JH (1983) Quantitative and dynamic plant ecology. Edward Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Kochendorfer J, Castillo EG, Haas E, Oechel WC, Paw KT (2011) Net ecosystem exchange, evapotranspiration and canopy conductance in a riparian forest. Agric For Meteorol 151:544–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kool D, Agam N, Lazarovitch N, Heitman JL, Sauer TJ, Ben-Gal A (2014) A review of approaches for evapotranspiration partitioning. Agric For Meteorol 184:56–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Law BE, Falge E, Gu L, Baldocchi DD, Bakwin P, Berbigier P, Davis K, Dolman AJ, Falk M, Fuentes JD, Goldstein A, Granier A, Grelle A, Hollinger D, Janssens IA, Jarvis P, Jensen NO, Katul G, Mahli Y, Matteucci G, Meyers T, Monson R, Munger W, Oechel W, Olson R, Pilegaard K, Paw KT, Thorgeirsson H, Valentini R, Verma S, Vesala T, Wilson K, Wofsy S (2002) Environmental controls over carbon dioxide and water vapor exchange of terrestrial vegetation. Agric For Meteorol 113:97–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Leuning R (1995) A critical appraisal of a combined stomatal-photosynthesis model for C-3 plants. Plant Cell Environ 18:339–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Li J, Yu B, Zhao CY, Nowak RS, Zhao Z, Sheng Y, Li J (2013) Physiological and morphological responses of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica to altered groundwater availability. Tree Physiol 33:57–68CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Liu R, Pan LP, Jenerette GD, Wang QX, Cieraad E, Li Y (2012) High efficiency in water use and carbon gain in a wet year for a desert halophyte community. Agric For Meteorol 162-163:127–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Liu R, Cieraad E, Li Y, Ma J (2016) Precipitation pattern determines the inter-annual variation of herbaceous layer and carbon fluxes in a phreatophyte-dominated desert ecosystem. Ecosystems 19:601–614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Liu B, Guan HD, Zhao WZ, Yang YT, Li SB (2017) Groundwater facilitated water-use efficiency along a gradient of groundwater depth in arid northwestern China. Agric For Meteorol 233:235–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lloyd J, Bird MI, Vellen L, Miranda AC, Veenendaal EM, Djagbletey G, Miranda HS, Cook G, Farquhar GD (2008) Contributions of wood and herbaceous vegetation to tropical savanna ecosystem productivity: a quasi-global estimate. Tree Phys 28:451–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Miller GR, Chen X, Rubin Y, Ma S, Baldocchi DD (2010) Groundwater uptake by woody vegetation in a semiarid oak savanna. Water Resour Res 46(10):W10503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Moore CJ (1986) Frequency response corrections for eddy correlation systems. Bound-Layer Meteorol 37:17–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Morillas L, Leuning R, Villagarcía L, García M, Serrano-Ortiz P, Domingo F (2013) Improving evapotranspiration estimates in Mediterranean drylands: the role of soil evaporation. Water Resour Res 49:6572–6586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Paço TA, David TS, Henriques MO, Pereira JS, Valente F, Banza J, Pereira FL, Pinto C, David JS (2009) Evapotranspiration from a Mediterranean evergreen oak savannah: the role of trees and pasture. J Hydrol 369(1–2):98–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Phillips DL, Gregg JW (2003) Source partitioning using stable isotopes: coping with too many sources. Oecologia 136:261–269CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Schlesinger WH, Jasechko S (2014) Transpiration in the global water cycle. Agric For Meteorol 189-190:115–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schultz NM, Griffis TJ, Lee XH, Baker JM (2011) Identification and correction of spectral contamination in 2H/1H and 18O/16O measured in leaf, stem, and soil water. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 25:3360–3368CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Scott RL, Cable WL, Huxman TE, Nagler PL, Hernandez M, Goodrich DC (2008) Multiyear riparian evapotranspiration and groundwater use for a semiarid watershed. J Arid Environ 72(7):1232–1246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Scott RL, Huxman TE, Barron-Gafford GA, Jenerette GD, Young JM, Hamerlynck EP (2014) When vegetation change alters ecosystem water availability. Glob Change Biol 20:2198–2210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Smith SD, Monson RK, Anderson JA (1997) The physiological ecology of North American desert plants. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sutanto SJ, van den Hurk B, Dirmeyer PA, Seneviratne SI, Rockmann T, Trenberth KE, Blyth EM, Wenninger J, Hoffmann G (2014) HESS opinions “a perspective on isotope versus non-isotope approaches to determine the contribution of transpiration to total evaporation”. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 18(8):2815–2827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Villegas JC, Dominguez F, Barron-Gafford GA, Adams HD, Guardiola-Claramonte M, Sommer ED, Selvey AW, Espeleta JF, Zou CB, Breshears DD, Huxman TE (2015) Sensitivity of regional evapotranspiration partitioning to variation in woody plant cover: insights from experimental dryland tree mosaics. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 24:1040–1048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vourlitis GL, de Almeida Lobo F, Pinto OB, Zappia A, Dalmagro HJ, De Arruda PHZ, De Souza Nogueira J (2015) Variations in aboveground vegetation structure along a nutrient availability gradient in the Brazilian pantanal. Plant Soil 389:307–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Walter H (1973) Vegetation of the earth. Springer-Verlag, New York 237pGoogle Scholar
  50. Wang L, Good SP, Caylor KK (2014) Global synthesis of vegetation control on evapotranspiration partitioning. Geophys Res Lett 41(19):6753–6757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wang P, Yamanaka T, Li XY, Wei ZW (2015) Partitioning evapotranspiration in a temperate grassland ecosystem: numerical modeling with isotopic tracers. Agric For Meteorol 208:16–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Webb EK, Pearman GI, Leuning R (1980) Correction of flux measurements for density effects due to heat and water vapor transfer. Q J R Meteorol Soc 106:85–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wilczak JM, Oncley SP, Stage SA (2001) Sonic anemometer tilt correction algorithms. Bound-Layer Meteorol 99(1):127–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wohlfahrt G, Fenstermaker LF, Arnone JA (2008) Large annual net ecosystem CO2 uptake of a Mojave Desert ecosystem. Glob Chang Biol 14:1475–1487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Xu LK, Baldocchi DD (2004) Seasonal variation in carbon dioxide exchange over a Mediterranean annual grassland in California. Agric For Meteorol 1232:79–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zhou HF, Zheng XJ, Zhou BJ, Dai Q, Li Y (2012) Sublimation over seasonal snowpack at the southeastern edge of a desert in central Eurasia. Hydrol Process 26:3911–3920CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ran Liu
    • 1
  • Yugang Wang
    • 1
  • Congjuan Li
    • 2
  • Jie Ma
    • 1
  • Yan Li
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Lab of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and GeographyChinese Academy of SciencesUrumqiChina
  2. 2.National Engineering Technology Research Center for Desert-Oasis Ecological Construction, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and GeographyChinese Academy of SciencesUrumqiChina

Personalised recommendations