Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 2163–2173 | Cite as

Studies on forest ecosystem physiology: marginal water-use efficiency of a tropical, seasonal, evergreen forest in Thailand

  • Mengping Chen
  • Guanze Wang
  • Shuangxi Zhou
  • Junfu Zhao
  • Xiang Zhang
  • Chunsheng He
  • Yongjiang Zhang
  • Liang Song
  • Zhenghong TanEmail author
Original Paper


Marginal water-use efficiency plays a critical role in plant carbon–water coupling relationships. We investigated the ecosystem marginal water-use efficiency (λ) of a tropical seasonal evergreen forest to (1) determine the general pattern of λ across time, (2) compare different models for calculating λ, and (3) address how λ varies with soil water content during different seasons. There was a U-shaped diurnal pattern in λ, which was higher in the early morning and late afternoon. At other times of the day, λ was lower and remained constant. Ecosystem λ was higher in the wet season than in the dry season. All three models successfully captured the diurnal and seasonal patterns of λ but differed in the calculated absolute values. The idea that λ is constant on a subdaily scale was partly supported by our study, while a constant λ was only true when data from the early morning and late afternoon were not included. The λ increases with soil water content on a seasonal scale, possibly because early morning λ remained low in dry conditions when the soil water content was low.


Canopy conductance Stomatal optimization Soil moisture Photosynthesis model 



We acknowledge AsiaFLUX for providing the data set and Emeritus Professor Minoru Gamo for data sharing. This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC Nos. 31660142 and 41771099).


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mengping Chen
    • 1
  • Guanze Wang
    • 1
  • Shuangxi Zhou
    • 2
  • Junfu Zhao
    • 1
  • Xiang Zhang
    • 1
  • Chunsheng He
    • 1
  • Yongjiang Zhang
    • 3
  • Liang Song
    • 4
  • Zhenghong Tan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ecology Program, College for Tropical Agriculture and ForestryHainan UniversityHaikouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  4. 4.Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingPeople’s Republic of China

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