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Muneepeerakul2008

Muneepeerakul2008 - Click Here WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH VOL...

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Coupled hydrologic and vegetation dynamics in wetland ecosystems Chitsomanus P. Muneepeerakul, 1 Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, 2 Stefania Tamea, 1 Andrea Rinaldo, 3,4 and Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe 1 Received 14 September 2007; revised 10 April 2008; accepted 2 May 2008; published 31 July 2008. [ 1 ] The stochastic nature of long-term dynamics of soil moisture, water table, and vegetation in wetland ecosystems driven by precipitation are investigated through this modeling study. A simple model is presented here to couple the hydrologic and vegetation dynamics via transpiration and ecosystem carrying capacity. The simulation results portray possible competition outcomes between plant species having different survival strategies in response to the fluctuating soil moisture and water tables under different rainfall conditions. Long-range correlations in the dynamics were detected in several of the key variables of wetland ecosystems, as the result of their dependence on the long- memory structure of the water table. The statistical structure of the modeled water table fluctuations is found to be similar to that obtained from a real case study, validating the ability of the model in capturing water table dynamics and suggesting its potential toward the quantification of the long-term dynamics of wetland vegetation. Citation: Muneepeerakul, C. P., F. Miralles-Wilhelm, S. Tamea, A. Rinaldo, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2008), Coupled hydrologic and vegetation dynamics in wetland ecosystems, Water Resour. Res. , 44 , W07421, doi:10.1029/2007WR006528. 1. Introduction [ 2 ] All together, wetlands constitute 6–7% of the Earth’s land surface [ Jackson et al. , 1991; Lehner and Doll , 2004], where they provide ecological services as producers, stores, sinks, pathways and buffers of energy, water and nutrients from a local to a global scale [ Jackson et al. , 1991; van der Valk , 2006]. In spite of the abundant evidence confirming the value of wetlands, they are seriously threatened by human exploitation and further challenged by climate change [ Davis and Ogden , 1994; Jackson et al. , 1991; van der Valk , 2006]. In the attempt to protect wetlands and the ecological, cultural and social services they provide, understanding of the underlying mechanisms and processes of wetlands is crucial. The rapidly growing field of research about these ecosystems is addressing the necessary ques- tions for the conservation management of wetlands. [ 3 ] Wetlands cover diverse types of landscapes and occur in a wide range of climates from semiarid to humid [ Jackson et al. , 1991; Davis and Ogden , 1994; Semeniuk and Semeniuk , 1995]. In these ecosystems, hydrologic forces interact with chemical and biological processes, creating continually changing conditions and a diverse biological community. Despite the presence of wetlands on a variety of hydromorphologic settings, wetlands share two characteristics that are unique to and distinguish them from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems: (1) hypoxic/anoxic soil resulting from a high level of soil moisture, and (2) macrophytes that influence the environmental processes in wetlands [ van der Valk , 2006]. The anoxic stress causes
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