International Collaborators Estimate Ecosystem Water Use with Common Agricultural Method


Eddy_flux_sites_HESS.jpgThe "crop coefficient method," widely used in agriculture to estimate how much water crops will need, describes the difference between the actual amount of water lost to the atmosphere and the amount of water that could be lost if there was unlimited water available. Eastern Threat Center scientists and colleagues working together through the U.S.-China Carbon Consortium (USCCC) are among the first to apply it to forests. Results from a recently published study, coauthored by Ge Sun and Steve McNulty, could help land managers deal with prolonged or severe drought conditions or evaluate trade-offs between managing for water supply or carbon storage across seven forest cover types—including broadleaf, evergreen, and mixed forests. “The study offers practical ways for estimating the seasonal dynamics of ecosystem water use and stress,” says Sun. Read more in CompassLive...

Pictured: A map shows the network of eddy flux towers that provided data on flow of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases above the forest canopy for this study. The USCCC allows scientists to share data across the U.S. and China. Click to enlarge.


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