Ecosystem transpiration and evaporation: Insights from three water flux partitioning methods across FLUXNET sites - Université de Lorraine Access content directly
Journal Articles Global Change Biology Year : 2020

Ecosystem transpiration and evaporation: Insights from three water flux partitioning methods across FLUXNET sites

1 Department of Biogeochemical Integration [Jena]
2 Macquarie University
3 LDEO - Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
4 Columbia University [New York]
5 CREAF - Centre for Ecological Research and Applied Forestries
6 UAB - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona = Autonomous University of Barcelona = Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
7 University of Colorado [Colorado Springs]
8 UPV / EHU - University of the Basque Country = Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea
9 Ikerbasque - Basque Foundation for Science
10 Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck - University of Innsbruck
11 University of Wisconsin-Madison
12 IBE | CNR - Institute for BioEconomy [Sesto Fiorentino]
13 CEFE - Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive
15 UZH - Universität Zürich [Zürich] = University of Zurich
16 USDA-ARS : Agricultural Research Service
17 Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research
18 ETH Zürich - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology [Zürich]
19 ESE - Ecologie Systématique et Evolution
20 FEM - Fondazione Edmund Mach - Edmund Mach Foundation [Italie]
21 Agrarian and Technological Institute
22 CzechGlobe - Global Change Research Centre
23 Helsingin yliopisto = Helsingfors universitet = University of Helsinki
24 UBC - University of British Columbia
25 ISAFOM - Istituto per i Sistemi Agricoli e Forestali del Mediterraneo
26 MPI-BGC - Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
27 WUR - Wageningen University and Research [Wageningen]
28 NOVA - Universidade Nova de Lisboa = NOVA University Lisbon
Damien Bonal
Andrej Varlagin
Leonardo Montagnani
Nicolas Delpierre
Daniel Berveiller
Ladislav Šigut
Lukas Siebicke
  • Function : Author
Alexander Knohl


We apply and compare three widely applicable methods for estimating ecosystem transpiration (T) from eddy covariance (EC) data across 251 FLUXNET sites globally. All three methods are based on the coupled water and carbon relationship, but they differ in assumptions and parameterizations. Intercomparison of the three daily T estimates shows high correlation among methods (R between .89 and .94), but a spread in magnitudes of T/ET (evapotranspiration) from 45% to 77%. When compared at six sites with concurrent EC and sap flow measurements, all three EC‐based T estimates show higher correlation to sap flow‐based T than EC‐based ET. The partitioning methods show expected tendencies of T/ET increasing with dryness (vapor pressure deficit and days since rain) and with leaf area index (LAI). Analysis of 140 sites with high‐quality estimates for at least two continuous years shows that T/ET variability was 1.6 times higher across sites than across years. Spatial variability of T/ET was primarily driven by vegetation and soil characteristics (e.g., crop or grass designation, minimum annual LAI, soil coarse fragment volume) rather than climatic variables such as mean/standard deviation of temperature or precipitation. Overall, T and T/ET patterns are plausible and qualitatively consistent among the different water flux partitioning methods implying a significant advance made for estimating and understanding T globally, while the magnitudes remain uncertain. Our results represent the first extensive EC data‐based estimates of ecosystem T permitting a data‐driven perspective on the role of plants’ water use for global water and carbon cycling in a changing climate.
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hal-02995533 , version 1 (07-06-2022)




Jacob Nelson, Oscar Pérez‐priego, Sha Zhou, Rafael Poyatos, Yao Zhang, et al.. Ecosystem transpiration and evaporation: Insights from three water flux partitioning methods across FLUXNET sites. Global Change Biology, 2020, 26 (12), pp.6916-6930. ⟨10.1111/gcb.15314⟩. ⟨hal-02995533⟩
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