The role of transpiration on the hydrological cycle

Friday, 19 December 2014: 5:15 PM
Jung-Eun Lee, Brown University, Providence, RI, United States
The growth of plants depends on soil moisture availability, which is determined by the hydrological cycle in a given area. At the same time, transpiration from plants may influence the hydrological cycle by modifying the degree of moisture recycling. Here I present how plants influence precipitation in general and suggest a hypothesis as to why precipitation over certain areas has a higher dependency on soil moisture, using climate model simulations. Transpiration increases overall precipitation and decreases the variability of precipitation. My results also suggest that plants can dampen or amplify the influence of external forcings on the hydrological cycle.