, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 9-21
Date: 16 Nov 2001

Changes in mass and energy transfer between the canopy and the atmosphere: model development and testing with a free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment

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The rationale for this study is found in the probable higher temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns that are expected in the future as a result of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. In particular, higher air temperatures may cause an increase in evapotranspiration demand while a reduction in rainfall could increase the severity and duration of drought in arid and semi-arid regions. Representation of the water transfer scheme includes water uptake by roots and the interaction between evapotranspiration and CO2 enrichment. The predicted response of a spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Yecora rojo) canopy in terms of energy exchange processes to elevated atmospheric CO2 level was tested against measurements collected at the FACE (Free Air Enrichment Experiment) site in 1994. Simulated and measured canopy conductances were reduced by about 30% under elevated [CO2] under optimum conditions of water supply. Reductions in latent heat fluxes under elevated instead of ambient [CO2] caused reductions in both simulated and measured seasonal water use of 6% under optimum and 2% under suboptimum irrigation. The soil–plant–atmosphere water transfer scheme proposed here offers several advances in the simulation of land surface interactions. First, the stomatal resistance model minimizes assumptions in existing land surface schemes about the effects of interactions among environmental conditions (radiation, temperature, CO2) upon stomatal behavior. These interactions are resolved in the calculation of CO2 in which processes are already well understood.