Skip to main content
Log in

The interrelationship of meteorological factors, soil moisture and plant growth

A review

  • Published:
International Journal of Biometeorology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

A thorough review of literature pertaining to the role of soil moisture in the interrelationships between meteorological factors and plant growth has been presented. In arid and semi-arid areas crop yields are closely related to the supply of soil moisture during the growing season. Direct measurements of soil moisture are laborious, costly or sometimes unpracticable. Unless sufficiently replicated they do not represent the natural variations of moisture in the soil. Moisture budgets computed from standard climatological data to some extant satisfy the need for a time-space-integrating technique. Most budget methods make use of potential evapotranspiration as the maximum loss of water from soil and vegetation when water supply is non-limiting. Under dry-land conditions the rate of PE must be modulated to account for soil dryness, plant root system, soil characteristics and atmospheric conditions. Soil moisture estimates so obtained may be used to interpret variations in plant growth and crop yields, for crop zonation purposes,for agroclimatic classifications, as a basis for crop forecasts and so forth.

Zusammenfassung

In einer ausführlichen Übersicht wird der derzeitige Stand der Arbeiten über die Bedeutung der Bodenfeuchtigkeit in den Wechselbeziehungen zwischen meteorologischen Faktoren und Pflanzenwachstum berichtet. In ariden und semi-ariden Gebieten werden die Ernteerträge weitgehend bestimmt durch den Bodenfeuchtevorrat während der Wachstumszeit. Direkte Messungen der Bodenfeuchtigkeit sind aufwendig und manchmal undurchführbar. Erst viele Wiederholungen ergeben ein getreues Bild der natürlichen Streuungen der Feuchteverteilung im Bodenprofil.Wasserbilanzen, die anhand von Klimadaten berechnet werden, genügen ungefähr der Forderung nach einer Raum-Zeit integrierenden Technik. Die meisten Wasserbilanzmethoden verwenden die potentielle Evapotranspiration als Ausgangswert für den höchst möglichen Wasserverlust von Boden und Vegetation bei ungehindertem Wassernachschub. Im Freiland ohne zusätzliche Beregnung muss zur Abschätzung des tatsächlichen Wasserverlustea die potentielle Evapotranspiration um einen Betrag vermindert werden,der abhängig ist von der Austrocknung des Bodens, Wurzelsystem, Bodeneigenschaften und atmospherischen Bedingungen. Diese Bodenfeuchte-Schätzwerte können zur Erklärung von Schwankungen im Pflanzenwachstum und der Enteerträge, für die Abgrenzung von Vegetationszonen, für agrarklimatologische Klassifikationen, als Basis für Ernteertragsvorhersagen und für ähnliche Planungen gebraucht werden.

Resume

Le présent article passe en revue les différentes méthodes en usage pour calculer, estimer ou mesurer les pertes en eau du sol. En effet,dans tous les climats arides ou semi-arides, l'évapotranspiration est déterminante pour la production agricole. On peut ainsi établir les fluctuations du bilan hydrique du sol pour des laps de temps plus ou moins courts, en tenant compte du fait que l'évapotranspiration n'est pas seulement fonction des éléments météorologiques,mais aussi de la réserve en eat du sol: la première diminuant avec l'apauvrissement de la seconde.Le bilan hydrique du sol connu et calculé pour des périodes successives,il est possible d'établir de. précisions de récoltes. Celles-ci doivent être rectifiées périodiquement au fur et à mesure de l'avancement de la saison. Cet article est accompagné d'une très riche liste de publications traitant soit de la détermination de l'évapotranspiration,soit du calcul du bilan hydrique, soit enfin de son utilisation dans la précision des récoltes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • ALBRECHT, F. (1950): Die Methoden zur Bestimmung der Verdunstung der natürlichen Erdoberfläche. Arch.Meteor.Geoph. Bioklim.B,2:1–38.

    Google Scholar 

  • ALBRECHT, F. (1962): Die Berechnung der natürlichen Verdunstung(Evapotranspiration) der Erdoberfläche aus klimatologischen Daten.Ber. dtsch.Wetterd., 11 (83): 1–19.

    Google Scholar 

  • ANDERSON, E.R., ANDERSON, L.R. and MARCIANO, J.J. (1950): A review of evaporation theory and development of instrumentation, Lake Mead water loss investigations. Int.Rept., Navy Electronics Lab. Rept. 159.

  • BAIER, W. (1954): Neue Ergebnisse von vergleichenden Verdunstungsmessungen im Freiland. Publ.No. 38 de l'Assoc.Intern.d'Hydrol.(Ass. générale Rome, tome III): 205–220.

    Google Scholar 

  • BAIER, W. (1962): An improved type of Popov evaporimeter for use under intense evaporative conditions. S.Afr.J.Agric.Sci.,5: 3–19.

    Google Scholar 

  • BAIER, W. (1963): Studies on estimating potential evapotranspiration from empirical relationships. S.Afr.J.Agric.Sci.,6: 455–474.

    Google Scholar 

  • BLANEY, H.F. (1954a): Consumptive use of ground water by phreato-phytes and hydro-phytes. C.R.Ass.Int.Hydrologie Sci.Rome,2: 53–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • BLANEY, H.F. (1954b): Evapotranspiration measurements in western United States. C.R.Ass.Int.Hidrologie Sci. Rome, 3: 150–160.

    Google Scholar 

  • BLANEY, H.F. and CRIDDLE, W.D. (1950): Determing water requirements in irrigated areas from climatological and irrigation data.U.S. Dept. Agric. SCS pp. 96.

  • BUSS, S. and SHAW, R.H. (1960): Prediction of soil moisture under corn.Part II.Final report, U.S. Weather Bureau Contract Cwb-9560. Agronomy Department. Iowa State University.

  • CHRISTIANSEN, J.E. (1963): Comparison of four methods of computing evaporation.Supplement to Rept. by Patel: Eng.Exp.Sta., Coll. Eng. Utah State Univ., Logan, Utah.

    Google Scholar 

  • CRIDDLE, W.D. (1958): Methods of computing consumptive use of water. J. Irrig. Drain.Div.Proc.Amer.Soc.Civ.Eng.Proc.Paper, 1507: 1–27.

    Google Scholar 

  • DAVITAYA, F.F. and KULIK, M.S. (1958): Agrometeorological problems. (Transl. from Russian) Meteor.Transl. No. 7, 1962. Dept. Transport Meteor.Branch, Toronto.

    Google Scholar 

  • DEACON, E.L., PRIESTLEY, C.H.B. and SWINBANK, W.C. (1958): Evaporation and the water balance. In: Climatology, UNESCO, Paris: 9–34.

    Google Scholar 

  • DENMEAD, O.T. and SHAW, R.H. (1962): Availability of soil water to plants as affected by soil moisture content and meteorological conditions. Agron.J., 54: 385–390.

    Google Scholar 

  • FEDOSEEV, A.P. (1958): Agrometeorological conditions for the development of pasture yields and the principles of their estimation and prognostication. (Transl.from Russian) pp. 54–61.In: Meteor. Transl. No. 7, 1962. Dept.Transport,Meteor.Branch, Toronto.

    Google Scholar 

  • GARDNER, W.R. (1960): Dynamic aspects of water availability to plants.Soil Sci., 89: 63–73.

    Google Scholar 

  • GOLZOW, M.M., MAXIMOW, S.A. and JAROSCHEWSKI, W.A. (1955): Praktische Agrarmeteorologie. (Transl. from Russian). Dtsch.Bauernverl.,Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

  • HABROLD, L.L. and DREIBELBIS, F.R. (1958): Evaluation of agricultural hydrology by monolith lysimeters. U.S. Dept.Agr. Tech.Bull. 1179.

  • HAUDE, W. (1954): Zur praktischen Bestimmung der aktuellen und potentiellen Evaporation und Evapotranspiration. Mitt.dtsch.Wetterd., 1 (8).

  • HAUDE, W. (1958): Über die Verwendung verschiedener Klimafaktoren zur Berechnung potentieller Evaporation und Evapotranspiration. Meteor.Rdsch., 11 (3): 96–99.

    Google Scholar 

  • HAUDE, W. (1959): Verdunstung und Strahlungsbilanz in einem Trockenklima. Meteor.Rdsch., 12: 11–17.

    Google Scholar 

  • HOLMES, R.M. (1961): Estimation of soil moisture content using evaporation data. In: Evaporation, Proc.Hydrol.Symp. 2, Toronto.Queen's Printer, Ottawa, 184–196.

    Google Scholar 

  • HOLMES, R.M. and ROBERTSON, G.W. (1958): Conversion of latent evaporation to potentia evapotranspiration. Can.J.Plant Sci., 38: 164–172.

    Google Scholar 

  • HOLMES, R.M. and ROBERTSON, G.W. (1959): A modulated soil moisture budget. Mon.Weather Rev., 87: 101–106.

    Google Scholar 

  • HOLMES, R.M. and ROBERTSON, G.W. (1963): Application of the relationship between actual and potential evapotranspiration in dry-land agriculture. Trans.Amer.Soc.Agric.Eng., 6: 65–67.

    Google Scholar 

  • HOLMES, R.M. and ROBERTSON, G.W. (1964): The calculation of the soil moisture profile under various conditions using the modulated soil moisture budget. Publ.No. 65 Intern.Assoc.Sci.Hydrol. Land erosion, precipitation, hydrometry, soil moisture,: 454–461.

  • HUNTER, A.S. and KELLEY, O.J. (1946): The growth and rubber content of guayule as affected by variations in soil moisture stress. J. Amer. Soc.Agron., 38: 118–134.

    Google Scholar 

  • HURD, E.A. (1964): Root study of three wheat varieties and their resistan to drought and damage by soil cracking. Can.J.Plant Sci 44: 240–248.

    Google Scholar 

  • JANZEN, P.J., KORVEN, N.A., HARRIS, G.K. and LEHANE, J.J. (1960): Influence of dept of moist soil at seeding time and of seasonal rainfall on wheat yields in southwestern Saskatchewan.Publ. 1090,Ca nada Dept.Agric., Information Div., Ottawa.

    Google Scholar 

  • KING, K.M. (1961): Evaporation from land surfaces. In: Evaporation,Proc.E drol.Symp. 2, Toronto. Queen's Printer, Ottawa: 55–80.

    Google Scholar 

  • KOHLER, M.A. (1957): Computation of evaporation and evapotranspiration fro meteorological observations. U.S. Weather Bur. Amer. Me teor. Soc. Meeting, Chicago.

  • KOHLER, M.A., NORDENSON, T.J. and FOX, W.E. (1955): Evaporation from pans and lakes U.S. Weather Bur. Res.Paper, 38.

  • KOHNKE, H. DREIBELBIS, F.R. and DAVIDSON, J.M. (1940): A survey and discussion of lysimeters and a bibliography on their construction and performance. U.S. Dept.Agr. Misc. Publ. 372.

  • KULIK, M.S. (1962): Handbook for preparing agrometeorological forecasts. Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad.

    Google Scholar 

  • LEHANE, J.J. and STAPLE, W.J. (1953): Water retention and availability in soils related to drought resistance. Can.J.Agric.Sci., 33: 265–273.

    Google Scholar 

  • LEHANE, J.J. and STAPEL, W.J. (1962): Effects of soil moisture tension on growth of wheat. Can.J.Soil Sci., 42: 180–188.

    Google Scholar 

  • LEMON, E.R. (1956): The potentialities for decreasing soil moisture evaporation loss. Soil Sci.Soc.Amer.Proc., 20: 120–125.

    Google Scholar 

  • LOWRY, W.P. (1959): The falling rate phase of evaporative soil moisture loss. A critical evaluation. Bull.Amer.Meteor.Soc.,40: 605–608.

    Google Scholar 

  • MARLATT, W.E. (1958): A comparison of evapotranspiration computed from climatic data with field and lysimeter measurements. M. Sc.Thesis Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.

    Google Scholar 

  • MARLATT, W.E., HAVENS, A.V., WILLITS, N.A. and BRILL, G.O. (1961): A comparison of computed and measured soil moisture under snap beans. J. Geophys.Res., 66: 535–541.

    Google Scholar 

  • MATHER, J.R. (1954): The determination of soil moisture from climatic data. Bull.Amer.Meteor.Soc., 35: 63–68.

    Google Scholar 

  • MATHISON, K.J. (1963): The use of climatological and related factors for estimating evaporation. M.Sc.Thesis Dept.Irrig. Drain Eng., Utah State Univ., Logan, Utah.

    Google Scholar 

  • MUKAMMAL, E.I. (1961): Evaporation pans and atmometers. In: Evaporation, Proc. Hydrol.Symp. 2, Toronto. Queen's Printer,Ottawa: 84–99.

    Google Scholar 

  • MUNN, R.E. (1961): Energy budget and mass transfer theories of evaporation. In: Evaporation, Proc.Hydrol.Symp. 2, Toronto. Queen's Printer, Ottawa: 8–26.

    Google Scholar 

  • PELTON, W.L. (1961): The use of lysimetric methods to measure evapotranspiration. In: Proc.Hydrol.Symp. 2, Toronto. Queen's Printer, Ottawa: 106–122.

    Google Scholar 

  • PENMAN, H.L. (1948): Natural evaporation from open water,bare soil and grass. Proc.Roy Soc, 193: 120–145.

    Google Scholar 

  • PENMAN, H.L. (1956): Evaporation: an introductory survey. Neth.J.Agric.Sci., 4: 9–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • PENMAN, H.L. (1963): Vegetation and Hydrology. Tech.Com.No. 5, Commonwealth Agric.Bureau, Farnham Royal, Bucks, England.

    Google Scholar 

  • PFAU, R. (1964): Ein Beitrag zur Wetterertragsstatistik von Halm und Hackfrucht. Ber.dtsch.Wetterd., 13 (94): 1–26.

    Google Scholar 

  • PHILIP, J.R. (1957): Evaporation and moisture and heat fields in the soil. J. Meteor., 14: 354–366.

    Google Scholar 

  • PIERCE, L.T. (1958): Estimating seasonal and short term fluctuations in evapotranspiration from meadow crops. Bull.Amer.Meteor.Soc., 39: 73–78.

    Google Scholar 

  • PRESCOTT, J.A. (1949): A climatic index for the leaching factor in soil formation. J.Soil Sci., 1: 9–19.

    Google Scholar 

  • POTSEROV, A.V. (1958): Agrometeorological methods of estimating the adequacy of soil moisture for water need of agricultural plants. (Transl. from Russian) pp. 23–27. In:Meteor.Transl.No.7, 1962. Dept.Transport, Meteor.Branch, Toronto.

    Google Scholar 

  • RICHARDS, L.A. and WADLEIGH, C.H. (1952): Soil water and plant growth.Jn:Soil physical conditions and plant growth, 73–251.Academic Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • RICHARDS, L.A. and RICHARDS, S.J. (1957): Soil moisture. In: Soil,the 1957 yearbook of Agriculture. U.S. Dept.Agric., Washington: 49–60.

    Google Scholar 

  • RICKARD, D.S. (1957): A comparison between measured and calculated soil moisture deficit. N.Z.J.Sci.Tech., Sec. A,38: 1081–1090.

    Google Scholar 

  • RIDER, N.E. (1958): Measurement of evaporation,humidity in the biosphere and soil moisture. Tech.Note No. 21, WMO-No. 72. TP.28, Sec. WMO, Geneva.

    Google Scholar 

  • ROBERTSON, G.W. (1955): The standardization of the measurement of evaporation as a climatic factor. Tech.Note No. 11, WMO-No. 42. T.P.16, Sec. WMO, Geneva.

    Google Scholar 

  • ROBERTSON, G.W. (1964): A summary of literature pertaining to latent evaporation and its application to soil moisture estimation and irrigation scheduling.Agr.Meteor.Tech.Bul. 3, Canada Dept. Agric. C.E.F., P.R.I., Ottawa.

    Google Scholar 

  • ROBERTSON, G.W. and HOLMES, R.M. (1959): Estimating irrigation water requirements from meteorological data. Res.Branch, Canada Dept.Agric., Ottawa, Publ.No. 1054 : 1–19.

  • ROTMISTROFF, W.G. (1926): Das Wesen der Dürre. Steinkopf, Dresden und Leipzig.

  • SANDERSON, M. (1950): Three years of evapotranspiration at Toronto. Can.J.Res. Sec.C, 28: 482–492.

    Google Scholar 

  • SANDERSON, F.H. (1954): Methods of crop forecastings. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass.

    Google Scholar 

  • SHAW, R.H. (1963a): Prediction of soil moisture under oats for the spring period. Iowa State J.Sci., 37: 417–424.

    Google Scholar 

  • SHAW, R.H. (1963b): Estimation of soil moisture under corn.Iowa Agr.Exp.Sta. Ames, Iowa, Res.Bull. 520: 965–980.

    Google Scholar 

  • SHAW, R.H. (1964): Prediction of soil moisture under meadow. Agron. J., 56: 320–324.

    Google Scholar 

  • SHAW, M.D. and ARBLE, W.C. (1959): Bibliography on methods for determining soil moisture. Pa.State Univ.Eng.Res.Bull. B-78: 1–152.

    Google Scholar 

  • SMITH, G.W. (1959): The determination of soil moisture under a permanent grass cover. J.Geophys.Res., 64: 477–483.

    Google Scholar 

  • STANHILL, G. (1961): The control of field irrigation practice from measurements of evaporation. Israel J.Agric.Res., 12: 51–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • STANHILL, G. (1962): The control of field irrigation practice from measurements of evaporation. Israel J.Agric.Res., 12: 51–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • STAPLE, W.J. and LEHANE, J.J. (1952): The conservation of soil moisture in southern Saskatchewan. Sci.Agric, 32: 36–47.

    Google Scholar 

  • STAPLE, W.J. and LEHANE, J.J. (1954): Weather conditions influencing wheat yields in tanks and field plots. Can.J.Agric.Sci., 34: 553–564.

    Google Scholar 

  • STAPLE, W.J., LEHANE, J.J. and WENHARDT, A. (1960): Conservation of soil moisture from fall and winter precipitation Can.J.Soil Sci.,40: 80–88.

    Google Scholar 

  • SUTTON, O.G. (1953): Micrometeorology. McGraw Hill Publ.Co., London.

    Google Scholar 

  • SWINBANK, W.C. (1951): The measurement of vertical transfer of heat and water vapour by eddies in the lower atmosphere. J.Meteor., 8: 135–145.

    Google Scholar 

  • TAYLOR, R.J. (1960): Similarity theory in the relation between fluxes and gradients in the lower atmosphere. Quart.J.Roy.Meteor.Soc., 86: 67–78.

    Google Scholar 

  • TAYLOR, R.J. and DYER, A.J. (1958): An instrument for measuring evaporation from natural surfaces. Nature (Lond.), 181: 408–409.

    Google Scholar 

  • THOMPSON, L.M. (1962): Evaluation of weather factors in the production of wheat. J.Soil Water Conserv., 17: 149–156.

    Google Scholar 

  • THRONTHWAITE, C.W. (1953): The place of supplemental irrigation in postwar planning. Publ.Climatol.Seabrook, N.J., 6 (2): 11–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • THORNTHWAITE, C.W. (1948): An approach toward a rational classification of climate. Geog.Review, 38: 85–94.

    Google Scholar 

  • THORNTHWAITE, C.W. and HOLZMAN, B. (1939): The determination of evaporation from land and water surfaces.MonthWeather Rev., 67: 4–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • THORNTHWAITE, C.W. and MATHER, J.R. (1955a): The water balance: Publ.Climatol.,Lab. Climatol., Drexel Inst.Technol., 8 (1): 1–104.

    Google Scholar 

  • THORNTHWAITE, C.W. and MATHER, J.R. (1955b): The water budget and its use in irrigation. In: Water. U.S. Dept.Agric.Yearbook 1955:346–358.

    Google Scholar 

  • TURC, L. (1954): Le bilan d'eau des sols. Relations entre les précipitations, l'évaporation et l'écoulement. Ann. Agron, 5: 491–596.

    Google Scholar 

  • TURC, L. (1955): Le bilan d'eau des sols. Relations entre les précipitations, l'évaporation et l'écoulement. Ann. Agron., 6: 5–131.

    Google Scholar 

  • UHLIG, S. (1954): Berechnung der Verdunstung aus klimatologischen Daten. Mitt.dtsch.Wetterd., 1 (6).

  • ULANOVA, E.S. (1958): Methods of estimating the agrometeorological conditions of wintering of winter gains.(Transl. from Russian)pp.47–53. In: Meteor.Transl. No. 7, 1962. Dept. Transport Meteor. Branch, Toronto.

    Google Scholar 

  • ULANOVA, E.S. (1959): Methods of agrometeorological forecasts (in Russian). Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad.

    Google Scholar 

  • U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (1952): Water loss investigations. 1. Lake Hefner Studies. U.S.Geol.Surv.Circ., 229.

  • U.S. NAVY ELECTRONICS LABORATORY (1950): Water loss investigations: a review of evaporation theory and development of instrumentation. U.S. Electronics Lab.Rept. 159.

  • VAN BAVEL, C.H.M. (1953): A drought criterion and its application in evaluating drought incidence and hazard. Agron.J., 45: 167–172.

    Google Scholar 

  • VAN BAVEL, C.H.M. (1955): Estimation of soil moisture condition and time or irrigation with the evapotranspiration method. A.R.S., U.S., Dept.Agr., North Carolina Agr.Expt.Sta., Raleigh, N.C.

    Google Scholar 

  • VAN BAVEL, C.H.M. (1961): Lysimetric measurements of evapotranspiration rates in the Eastern United States. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer.Proc.,25: 138–141.

    Google Scholar 

  • VAN DER BIJL, W. (1957): The evapotranspiration problem. Report 1956–1957. Kans. State Coll. Dept. Phys., Manhattan, Kans.

    Google Scholar 

  • VAN WIJK, W.R. and DE VRIES, D.A. (1954): Evapotranspiration. Neth. J. Agric. Sci., 2: 105–119.

    Google Scholar 

  • VEIHMEYER, F.J. and HENDRICKSON, A.H. (1928): Soil moisture at permanent wilting of plants. Plant Physiol., 3: 355–357.

    Google Scholar 

  • VEIHMEYER, F.J. and HENDRICKSON, A.H. (1955): Does transpiration decrease as the soil moisture decreases? Trans. Amer. Geoph. Union, 36: 425–448.

    Google Scholar 

  • VENTSKEVICH, G.Z. (1958): Agrometeorology. Transl.from Russian). Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad. Transl. by Israel Program Sci.Transl. (1961). Available from Office Techn.Services,U.S.Dept. Commerce, Washington 25, D.C.

    Google Scholar 

  • VERIGO, S.A. and RAZUMOVA, L.A. (1963): Soil moisture and its importance for agricultural production, (In Russian) Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad.

    Google Scholar 

  • WANG, J.Y. (1963): Agricultural meteorology. Pacemaker Press,Milwaukee,Wisc.

    Google Scholar 

  • WILLIAMS, G.P. (1961): Evaporation from water, snow and ice.In:Evaporation,Proc. Hydrol.Symp. 2, Toronto. Queen's Printer, Ottawa, 31–47.

    Google Scholar 

  • WILLIAMS, G.D.V. and ROBERTSON, G.W. (1964): Estimating most probable prairie wheat production from precipitation data. Can.J.Plant Sci. (in press).

  • WILM, H.G. and THORNTHWAITE, C.W. (1946): Report of the Committee on evaporation and transpiration, 1945–46. Trans.Amer.Geophys.Union, 27. 721–725.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Contribution No. 428 of the Plant Research Institute, Research Branch, Canada Department of Agriculture, Ottawa. Presented of the Symposium on Water and Climate, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 13 November 1964.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Baier, W. The interrelationship of meteorological factors, soil moisture and plant growth. Int J Biometeorol 9, 5–20 (1965). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02187304

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02187304

Keywords

Navigation