Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food, and Biological Engineering
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: April 24, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Evapotranspiration as a physical process is critical to the well being of plants. The cooling action provided by the evaporation of water allows the plant temperatures to be maintained within limits that permit optimum physiological function. Plant canopies are unique because they are comprised of evaporation amounts that occur from the soil surface and the plant surface, however, plants through roots that extend throughout the soil profile are not limited to only soil water supplies at the soil surface. There is a dynamic nature of ET across time and space scales that needs to be considered in interpreting ET values or designing studies that measures or estimate ET.