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Evaporation and transpiration from multiple proximal forests and wetlands
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  • Victoria Shveytser,
  • Paul Christopher Stoy,
  • Brian J. Butterworth,
  • Susanne Wiesner,
  • Todd Skaggs,
  • Bailey Murphy,
  • Thomas Wutzler,
  • Tarek S. El-Madany,
  • Ankur Rashmikant Desai
Victoria Shveytser
University of Wisconsin Madison

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Paul Christopher Stoy
University of Wisconsin - Madison
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Brian J. Butterworth
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder
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Susanne Wiesner
University of Wisconsin - Madison
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Todd Skaggs
U.S. Salinity Laboratory, USDA-ARS
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Bailey Murphy
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Thomas Wutzler
MPI Biogeochemistry
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Tarek S. El-Madany
Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
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Ankur Rashmikant Desai
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Climate change is intensifying the hydrologic cycle and altering ecosystem function, including water flux to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration (ET). ET is made up of evaporation (E) via non-stomatal surfaces, and transpiration (T) through plant stomata which are impacted by global changes in different ways. E and T are difficult to measure independently at the ecosystem scale, especially across sites that represent different land use and land management strategies. To address this gap in understanding, we applied flux variance similarity to quantify how E and T differ across 12 different ecosystems measured using eddy covariance in a 10 × 10 km2 area from the CHEESEHEAD19 experiment in northern Wisconsin, USA. The study sites included seven deciduous broadleaf forests, three evergreen needleleaf forests, and two wetlands. Net radiation explained on average 68% of the variance of half-hourly T, which decreased from summer to autumn. Average T/ET for the study period was 55% in forested sites and 46% in wetlands. Deciduous and evergreen forests showed similar E trajectories over time despite differences in vegetation phenology. E increased dramatically after large precipitation events in loam soils but the response in sandy soils was more muted, consistent with the notion that lower infiltration rates temporarily enhance E. Results suggest that E and T partitioning methods are promising for comparing ecosystem hydrology across multiple sites to improve our process-based understanding of ecosystem water flux.