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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Riverside, California » Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341388

Research Project: Sustaining Irrigated Agriculture in an Era of Increasing Water Scarcity and Reduced Water Quality

Location: Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit

Title: Impact of water use efficiency parameterization on partitioning evapotranspiration with the eddy covariance flux variance method

item Anderson, Raymond - Ray
item Wang, Dong
item Skaggs, Todd
item Alfieri, Joseph
item SCANLON, TODD - University Of Virginia
item Kustas, William - Bill

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/22/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Partitioned observations of evapotranspiration (ET) into its constituent components of soil and canopy evaporation (E) and plant transpiration (T) are needed to validate many agricultural water use models. E and T observations are also useful for assessing management practices to reduce crop water use by suppressing soil E or reducing T by plant stress. However, the most commonly used approaches to measure crop water use, such as weighing lysimeters, soil water balance, or eddy covariance (EC), measure ET and cannot directly partition ET into E and T. Recent work with EC data has led to a new method to partition ET based on the variance of high frequency CO2 and H2O data and leaf level water use efficiency (WUE). This method, hereafter called the flux variance partitioning (FVP) approach, is advantageous because it can use standard EC observations without additional constraints such as isotopic data, sap flow, or soil microlysimeters or Bowen Ratio systems to partition ET. However, FVP relies on parameterized leaf temperature and intercellular CO2 data to correctly estimate WUE and thus E and T. In this presentation we evaluate several differing approaches to estimate leaf level WUE for partitioning ET with FVP. We test these approaches against a two source energy balance (TSEB) approach in a peach orchard in California, USA. Initial results show that a WUE parameterization using an intercellular CO2 that depends on vapor pressure deficit has a transpiration flux that is 15 W m-2 (0.53 mm day-1) lower than a WUE parameterization with a constant intercellular to atmospheric CO2 ratio. The frequency of model convergence with FVP is also slightly higher with the vapor pressure deficit parameterization. The results indicate that FVP is a useful tool to partition ET, but that the robustness of the partitioning depends on constraining leaf-level WUE.