Groundwater-Dependent Vegetation: Quantifying the Groundwater Subsidy

TitleGroundwater-Dependent Vegetation: Quantifying the Groundwater Subsidy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLowry C.S, Loheide S.P
JournalWater Resources Research
Date PublishedJun 17
ISBN Number0043-1397
Accession NumberWOS:000278993700003
Keywordsevapotranspiration, model, nutrient-uptake, root-water, soil, stress

The typical stratigraphy of riparian ecosystems consists of fine-grained overbank deposits overlying coarser-grained materials. Plants within these regions rely on soil moisture in the fine-grained sediments as well as supplemental groundwater for root water uptake. The additional water available as a result of shallow water table conditions is defined here as groundwater subsidy and is found to be a significant contribution to root water uptake. Work presented here quantifies the effect of groundwater subsidy on root water uptake as a result of variations in the soil thickness of the upper fine-grained sediments, rate of water table decline, and maximum water table depth. Variations in soil thickness and water table decline regimes produce a complex response with respect to both the rate of groundwater subsidy and the cumulative groundwater subsidy. These simulated regimes are analogs to environmental scenarios in riparian ecosystems that result from stream incision, soil erosion, and climate change. These results have implications for identifying ecosystems most susceptible to future change as well as those most amenable to restoration.

Short TitleWater Resour Res
Alternate JournalWater Resour Res