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The contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem evapotranspiration in boreal and temperate forests: a literature review and analysis

Abstract : In the context of increasing heat periods and recurrence of droughts, and thus higher soil water depletion, we explored and quantified the role of understorey vegetation in ecosystem evapotranspiration in boreal and temperate forests. We reviewed and analysed about 200 papers that explicitly gave figures of understorey vegetation evapotranspiration relative to different stand features and traits. Understorey vegetation accounted on average for one-third of total ecosystem evapotranspiration during the growing season. Overstorey leaf area index (LAI) is the main variable that drives understorey evapotranspiration through radiation interception. Most data show that below an overstorey LAI of 2–3, the contribution of the understorey vegetation to ecosystem evapotranspiration increases exponentially, following the exponential increase of the climatic demand, i.e. potential evapotranspiration. Different factors have the potential to modulate this effect such as species composition and phenology, root distribution, and interaction with droughts. Consequently, managers must be aware that depending on understorey species present on site and stand structure, understorey vegetation can contribute significantly to a negative stand water balance.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03831981
Contributor : Philippe BALANDIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, October 27, 2022 - 12:16:48 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 14, 2022 - 4:29:06 PM

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Philippe Balandier, Rémy Gobin, Bernard Prévosto, Nathalie Korboulewsky. The contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem evapotranspiration in boreal and temperate forests: a literature review and analysis. European Journal of Forest Research, In press, ⟨10.1007/s10342-022-01505-0⟩. ⟨hal-03831981⟩

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