Articles | Volume 7, issue 6
Biogeosciences, 7, 1903–1914, 2010

Special issue: CarboEastAsia

Biogeosciences, 7, 1903–1914, 2010

  14 Jun 2010

14 Jun 2010

Partitioning of catchment water budget and its implications for ecosystem carbon exchange

D. Lee1, J. Kim1,2, K.-S. Lee3, and S. Kim4 D. Lee et al.
  • 1Global Environment Laboratory, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, Yonsei Univ., Seoul 120-749, Korea
  • 2Global Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Regeneration, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
  • 3Korea Basic Science Institute and Graduate School of Analytical Science and Technology, Daejon, 305-333, Korea
  • 4Korea Institute of Construction Technology (Sustainable Water Resource Research Center), Goyang, 411-712, Korea

Abstract. Spatially averaged annual carbon budget is one of the key information needed to understand ecosystem response and feedback to climate change. Water availability is a primary constraint of carbon uptake in many ecosystems and therefore the estimation of ecosystem water use may serve as an alternative to quantify Gross Primary Productivity (GPP). To examine this concept, we estimated a long-term steady state water budget for the Han River basin (~26 000 km2) in Korea and examined its application for catchment scale carbon exchange. For this, the catchment scale evapotranspiration (ET) was derived from the long term precipitation (P) and discharge (Q) data. Then, using stable isotope data of P and Q along with other hydrometeorological information, ET was partitioned into evaporation from soil and water surfaces (ES), evaporation from intercepted rainfall (EI, and transpiration (T). ES was identified as a minor component of ET in the study areas regardless of the catchment scales. The annual T, estimated from ET after accounting for EI and ES for the Han River basin from 1966 to 2007, was 22~31% of annual P and the proportion decreased with increasing P. Assuming that T further constrains the catchment scale GPP in terms of water use efficiency (WUE), we examined the possibility of using T as a relative measure for the strength and temporal changes of carbon uptake capacity. The proposed relationship would provide a simple and practical way to assess the spatial distribution of ecosystem GPP, provided the WUE estimates in terms of GPP/T at ecosystem scale could be obtained. For carbon and water tracking toward a sustainable Asia, ascertaining such a spatiotemporally representative WUE and their variability is a requisite facing the flux measurement and modeling communities.

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