Hydrology: The diversified economics of soil water

  title={Hydrology: The diversified economics of soil water},
  author={Gabriel J. Bowen},
  • G. Bowen
  • Published 3 September 2015
  • Environmental Science
  • Nature
Soil water that evaporates or is tapped by plants is largely separate from that which runs into streams and recharges groundwater. This finding has big implications for our understanding of water cycling. See Letter p.91 Soil water is usually assumed to be available for all purposes in equal measure, supplying plant transpiration as well as groundwater and streamflow. Building on prior but limited studies, Jaivime Evaristo et al. have assembled a dataset of hydrogen and oxygen isotopes — drawn… 

Characterizing the Fluxes and Age Distribution of Soil Water, Plant Water, and Deep Percolation in a Model Tropical Ecosystem

Recent field observations indicate that in many forest ecosystems, plants use water that may be isotopically distinct from soil water that ultimately contributes to streamflow. Such an assertion has

Insights into plant water uptake from xylem‐water isotope measurements in two tropical catchments with contrasting moisture conditions

Water transpired by trees has long been assumed to be sourced from the same subsurface water stocks that contribute to groundwater recharge and streamflow. However, recent investigations using dual

Relative contribution of groundwater to plant transpiration estimated with stable isotopes

The connectivity between groundwater pools and plant water may be quantitatively larger and more widespread than reported by recent global estimations based on isotopic averaged values, and Earth System Models should account for the feedbacks between transpiration and groundwater recharge.

Ecohydrological Separation Hypothesis: Review and Prospect

The ecohydrological-separation (ES) hypothesis is that the water used for plant transpiration and the water used for streams and groundwater recharge comes from distinct subsurface compartmentalized

Testing the ‘two water worlds’ hypothesis under variable preferential flow conditions

Widespread observations of ecohydrological separation are interpreted by suggesting that water flowing through highly conductive soil pores resists mixing with matrix storage over periods of days to

The Water Isotopic Version of the Land-Surface Model ORCHIDEE: Implementation, Evaluation, Sensitivity to Hydrological Parameters

Land-Surface Models (LSMs) exhibit large spread and uncertainties in the way they partition precipitation into surface runoff, drainage, transpiration and bare soil evaporation. To explore to what

Tracking the fate of deposited nitrogen and its redistribution in a subtropical watershed in China

Vegetation cover and soil infiltration can result in nitrogen (N) redistribution and associative isotopic fractionation. This study investigated N and its isotopic characteristics from deposition to

Isotopes in the Water Cycle: Regional- to Global-Scale Patterns and Applications

Stable isotope ratios of hydrogen and oxygen have been applied to water cycle research for over 60 years. Over the past two decades, however, new data, data compilations, and quantitative methods



Global separation of plant transpiration from groundwater and streamflow

The ubiquity of subsurface water compartmentalization found here, and the segregation of storm types relative to hydrological and ecological fluxes, may be used to improve numerical simulations of runoff generation, stream water transit time and evaporation–transpiration partitioning.

Hydrologic connectivity constrains partitioning of global terrestrial water fluxes

Two large-scale flux-partitioning approaches were combined to quantify evapotranspiration subcomponents and the hydrologic connectivity of bound, plant-available soil waters with more mobile surface waters.

Ecohydrologic separation of water between trees and streams in a Mediterranean climate

Water movement in upland humid watersheds from the soil surface to the stream is often described using the concept of translatory flow, which assumes that water at any soil depth is well mixed. A

Terrestrial water fluxes dominated by transpiration

The dominance of transpiration water fluxes in continental evapotranspiration suggests that climate model development should prioritize improvements in simulations of biological fluxes rather than physical (evaporation) fluxes.

Stable isotopes reveal linkages among ecohydrological processes in a seasonally dry tropical montane cloud forest

Despite their critical role as freshwater resources and their vulnerability to anthropogenic pressures, our knowledge of the ecohydrology of tropical montane cloud forests remains limited. Here, we

A simple hydrologically based model of land surface water and energy fluxes for general circulation models

A generalization of the single soil layer variable infiltration capacity (VIC) land surface hydrological model previously implemented in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) general

Macropores and water flow in soils

This paper reviews the importance of large continuous openings (macropores) on water flow in soils. The presence of macropores may lead to spatial concentrations of water flow through unsaturated

The roles of hydraulic and carbon stress in a widespread climate-induced forest die-off

A direct and in situ study of the mechanisms underlying recent widespread and climate-induced trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) forest mortality in western North America and finds substantial evidence of hydraulic failure of roots and branches linked to landscape patterns of canopy and root mortality in this species.