, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 729-737
Date: 03 Jul 2010

Effect of rainfall interannual variability on the biomass and soil water distribution in a semiarid shrub community

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Abstract

The dynamics of biomass and soil moisture in semiarid land is driven by both the current rainfall and the ecosystem memory. Based on a meta-analysis of existing experiments, an ecosystem model was used to calculate the effect of the rainfall interannual variability on the pattern of biomass and soil moisture in a shrub community. It was found that rainfall interannual variability enabled shrubs to be more competitive than grasses, and to maintain the dominant role over a longer time. The rainfall interannual variability resulted in complex soil moisture dynamics. The soil water recharge in wet years alternated with discharge in drought years.

Contributed equally to this work