A spatially distributed model to simulate water, energy, and vegetation dynamics using information from regional climate models

M. P. Maneta, N. L. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studies seeking to understand the impacts of climate variability and change on the hydrology of a region need to take into account the dynamics of vegetation and its interaction with the hydrologic and energy cycles. Yet, most of the hydrologic models used for these kinds of studies assume that vegetation is static. This paper presents a dynamic, spatially explicit model that couples a vertical energy balance scheme (surface and canopy layer) to a hydrologic model and a forest growth component to capture the dynamic interactions between energy, vegetation, and hydrology at hourly to daily time scales. The model is designed to be forced with outputs from regional climate models. Lateral water transfers are simulated using a 1D kinematic wave model. Infiltration is simulated using the Green and Ampt approximation to Richard's equation. The dynamics of soil moisture and energy drives carbon assimilation and forest growth, which in turn affect the distribution of energy and water through leaf dynamics by altering light interception, shading, and enhanced transpiration. The model is demonstrated in two case studies simulating energy, water, and vegetation dynamics at two different spatial and temporal scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-44
Number of pages44
JournalEarth Interactions
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Ecohydrology
  • Forest dynamics
  • Hydrology
  • Land system models

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