loading page

Bridging scales: a temporal approach to evaluate global transpiration products using tree-scale sap flow data
  • +3
  • Paulo R.L. Bittencourt,
  • Lucy Rowland,
  • Stephen Sitch,
  • Rafael Poyatos,
  • Diego G. Miralles,
  • Maurizio Mencuccini
Paulo R.L. Bittencourt
College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Lucy Rowland
University of Exeterty
Author Profile
Stephen Sitch
University of Exeter
Author Profile
Rafael Poyatos
Author Profile
Diego G. Miralles
Ghent University
Author Profile
Maurizio Mencuccini
Author Profile


Transpiration is a key process driving energy, water and thus carbon dynamics. Global T products are fundamental for understanding and predicting vegetation processes. However, validation of these transpiration products is limited, mainly due to lack of suitable datasets. We propose a method to use SAPFLUXNET, the first quality-controlled global tree sap flow database, for evaluating transpiration products at global scale. Our method is based on evaluating temporal mismatches, rather than absolute values, by standardizing both transpiration and sap flow products. We evaluate how transpiration responses to hydro-meteorological variation from the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM), a widely used global transpiration product, compare to in-situ responses from SAPFLUXNET field data. Our results show GLEAM and SAPFLUXNET temporal trends are in good agreement, but diverge under extreme conditions. Their temporal mismatches differ depending on the magnitude of transpiration and are not random, but linked to energy and water availability. Despite limitations, we show that the new global SAPFLUXNET dataset is a valuable tool to evaluate T products and identify problematic assumptions and processes embedded in models. The approach we propose can, therefore, be the foundation for a wider use of SAPFLUXNET, a new, independent, source of information, to understand the mechanisms controlling global transpiration fluxes.