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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358870

Research Project: Long-term Management of Water Resources in the Central Mississippi River Basin

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Water balance variation across agroecosystems in North America - the Long-Term Agroecosystems Research network

item AMARTYA, SAHA - Archbold Biological Station
item KOHMANN, MARTA - University Of Florida
item Baffaut, Claire
item BOUGHTON, ELIZABETH - Archbold Biological Station
item BRANDANI, CAROLINA - University Of Florida
item SILVIERA, MARIA - University Of Florida
item SHUKLA, SANJAY - University Of Florida
item SWAIN, HILARY - Archbold Biological Station

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2018
Publication Date: 10/15/2018
Citation: Amartya, S., Kohmann, M., Baffaut, C., Boughton, E., Brandani, C., Silviera, M., Shukla, S., Swain, H. 2018. Water balance variation across agroecosystems in North America - the Long-Term Agroecosystems Research network [abstract]. 19th Annual Soil and Water Sciences Research Forum, October 15, 2018, Gainsville, Florida. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A knowledge of water availability underpins agriculture, land and water management. Quantifying the components of the water balance at a site (ie. precipitation, evaporation, runoff, net groundwater recharge/discharge) enables understanding how water availability varies with season and year. This poster describes the development of a water budget of a subtropical grassland/ranchland at Buck Island Ranch, a part of the Archbold Biological Station-University of Florida LTAR network site. This is part of a wider ongoing cooperative study developing water balances at the watershed (> 400 ha) and/or field (< 100 ha) scales at eighteen USDA Long-Term Agroecosystems Research (LTAR) network sites across North America. The poster also summarizes results across the LTAR network. While precipitation and evapotranspiration (ET) ranged from around 250 mm in the Southwest to > 1000 mm in the Southeast, the ET coefficient (ET/[precipitation+irrigation]) was fairly constant for fields with similar land cover within the same climatic region: 0.73 on crop sites with humid climate, and 1.05 for grassland in semi-arid regions. The Budyko framework is used to show how sites lie along gradients of water and energy limitation – the factors that govern ET, typically the biggest loss of water from agroecosystems. The knowledge on water balances for different agroecosystems provides the baseline information to assess potential changes in water availability caused by climate or land use change.