Rainfall intensity switches ecohydrological runoff/runon redistribution patterns in dryland vegetation patches

Patricio N. Magliano, David D Breshears, Roberto J. Fernandez, Esteban G. Jobbagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Effectively managing net primary productivity in drylands for grazing and other uses depends on understanding how limited rainfall input is redistributed by runoff and runon among vegetation patches, particularly for patches that contrast between lesser and greater amounts of vegetation cover. Due in part to data limitations, ecohydrologists generally have focused on rainfall event size to characterize water redistribution processes. Here we use soil moisture data from a semiarid woodland to highlight how, when event size is controlled and runoff and interception are negligible at the stand scale, rainfall intensity drives the relationship between water redistribution and canopy and soil patch attributes. Horizontal water redistribution variability increased with rainfall intensity and differed between patches with contrasting vegetation cover. Sparsely vegetated patches gained relatively more water during lower intensity events, whereas densely vegetated ones gained relatively more water during higher intensity events. Consequently, range managers need to account for the distribution of rainfall event intensity, as well as event size, to assess the consequences of climate variability and change on net primary productivity. More generally, our results suggest that rainfall intensity needs to be considered in addition to event size to understand vegetation patch dynamics in drylands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2094-2100
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Applications
Volume25
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Fingerprint

precipitation intensity
runoff
vegetation
rainfall
vegetation cover
patch dynamics
water
productivity
interception
woodland
grazing
soil moisture
canopy
climate
soil

Keywords

  • Canopy
  • Dry Chaco woodlands
  • Forest
  • Rainfall intensity
  • Rangelands
  • Spatial heterogeneity
  • Water balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Rainfall intensity switches ecohydrological runoff/runon redistribution patterns in dryland vegetation patches. / Magliano, Patricio N.; Breshears, David D; Fernandez, Roberto J.; Jobbagy, Esteban G.

In: Ecological Applications, Vol. 25, No. 8, 01.12.2015, p. 2094-2100.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Magliano, Patricio N. ; Breshears, David D ; Fernandez, Roberto J. ; Jobbagy, Esteban G. / Rainfall intensity switches ecohydrological runoff/runon redistribution patterns in dryland vegetation patches. In: Ecological Applications. 2015 ; Vol. 25, No. 8. pp. 2094-2100.
@article{460599967a964a49b9454687651fcfd4,
title = "Rainfall intensity switches ecohydrological runoff/runon redistribution patterns in dryland vegetation patches",
abstract = "Effectively managing net primary productivity in drylands for grazing and other uses depends on understanding how limited rainfall input is redistributed by runoff and runon among vegetation patches, particularly for patches that contrast between lesser and greater amounts of vegetation cover. Due in part to data limitations, ecohydrologists generally have focused on rainfall event size to characterize water redistribution processes. Here we use soil moisture data from a semiarid woodland to highlight how, when event size is controlled and runoff and interception are negligible at the stand scale, rainfall intensity drives the relationship between water redistribution and canopy and soil patch attributes. Horizontal water redistribution variability increased with rainfall intensity and differed between patches with contrasting vegetation cover. Sparsely vegetated patches gained relatively more water during lower intensity events, whereas densely vegetated ones gained relatively more water during higher intensity events. Consequently, range managers need to account for the distribution of rainfall event intensity, as well as event size, to assess the consequences of climate variability and change on net primary productivity. More generally, our results suggest that rainfall intensity needs to be considered in addition to event size to understand vegetation patch dynamics in drylands.",
keywords = "Canopy, Dry Chaco woodlands, Forest, Rainfall intensity, Rangelands, Spatial heterogeneity, Water balance",
author = "Magliano, {Patricio N.} and Breshears, {David D} and Fernandez, {Roberto J.} and Jobbagy, {Esteban G.}",
year = "2015",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1890/15-0550.1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "25",
pages = "2094--2100",
journal = "Ecological Appplications",
issn = "1051-0761",
publisher = "Ecological Society of America",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Rainfall intensity switches ecohydrological runoff/runon redistribution patterns in dryland vegetation patches

AU - Magliano, Patricio N.

AU - Breshears, David D

AU - Fernandez, Roberto J.

AU - Jobbagy, Esteban G.

PY - 2015/12/1

Y1 - 2015/12/1

N2 - Effectively managing net primary productivity in drylands for grazing and other uses depends on understanding how limited rainfall input is redistributed by runoff and runon among vegetation patches, particularly for patches that contrast between lesser and greater amounts of vegetation cover. Due in part to data limitations, ecohydrologists generally have focused on rainfall event size to characterize water redistribution processes. Here we use soil moisture data from a semiarid woodland to highlight how, when event size is controlled and runoff and interception are negligible at the stand scale, rainfall intensity drives the relationship between water redistribution and canopy and soil patch attributes. Horizontal water redistribution variability increased with rainfall intensity and differed between patches with contrasting vegetation cover. Sparsely vegetated patches gained relatively more water during lower intensity events, whereas densely vegetated ones gained relatively more water during higher intensity events. Consequently, range managers need to account for the distribution of rainfall event intensity, as well as event size, to assess the consequences of climate variability and change on net primary productivity. More generally, our results suggest that rainfall intensity needs to be considered in addition to event size to understand vegetation patch dynamics in drylands.

AB - Effectively managing net primary productivity in drylands for grazing and other uses depends on understanding how limited rainfall input is redistributed by runoff and runon among vegetation patches, particularly for patches that contrast between lesser and greater amounts of vegetation cover. Due in part to data limitations, ecohydrologists generally have focused on rainfall event size to characterize water redistribution processes. Here we use soil moisture data from a semiarid woodland to highlight how, when event size is controlled and runoff and interception are negligible at the stand scale, rainfall intensity drives the relationship between water redistribution and canopy and soil patch attributes. Horizontal water redistribution variability increased with rainfall intensity and differed between patches with contrasting vegetation cover. Sparsely vegetated patches gained relatively more water during lower intensity events, whereas densely vegetated ones gained relatively more water during higher intensity events. Consequently, range managers need to account for the distribution of rainfall event intensity, as well as event size, to assess the consequences of climate variability and change on net primary productivity. More generally, our results suggest that rainfall intensity needs to be considered in addition to event size to understand vegetation patch dynamics in drylands.

KW - Canopy

KW - Dry Chaco woodlands

KW - Forest

KW - Rainfall intensity

KW - Rangelands

KW - Spatial heterogeneity

KW - Water balance

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84959378265&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84959378265&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1890/15-0550.1

DO - 10.1890/15-0550.1

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 2094

EP - 2100

JO - Ecological Appplications

JF - Ecological Appplications

SN - 1051-0761

IS - 8

ER -