Impacts of Variations of Vegetation Hydraulic Properties on Land-Surface Hydrology

Friday, 19 December 2014: 3:10 PM
Valeriy Yu Ivanov, University of Michigan, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, Simone Fatichi, ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland and Jongho Kim, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
The response of vegetated systems to a hydroclimatic signal is generally monitored or modeled at integrating scales. Its contributing elements however may correspond to a range of strategies of life-cycle function; more specifically, plants with different hydraulic strategies may co-exist in the same environment but convey contrasting patterns of response to the hydroclimatic driver. The current generation of land-surface models treats plant hydraulic relations in a simplified fashion. There is still limited understanding whether such an approach can be reliable, particularly when vegetation performance during drought intervals is of concern. This research highlights examples of hydraulic differences in plant function in the above-surface and below-surface domains, using observations and numerical analysis. A ‘stratification axis’ of plant hydraulic types for Earth-System models is proposed.