Characteristics of ecosystem water use efficiency in a desert riparian forest

Ma, Xiaohong and Feng, Qi and Su, Yonghong and Yu, Tengfei and Deo, Ravinesh C. (2018) Characteristics of ecosystem water use efficiency in a desert riparian forest. Environmental Earth Sciences, 77 (358). ISSN 1866-6280


The Ejin oasis, located on the river sides of a hyper-arid region, represents some of the richest desert ecosystems, populated with riparian forest. Water availability is the main limited factors for the distribution and growth of the forest. Currently, the water–carbon process and mechanisms in the desert riparian forest remain uncertain. The study investigated the seasonal and inter-annual variations in the gross primary productivity (GPP), evapotranspiration (ET) and ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE), and their relationships with the event (e.g., irrigation) and climatic factors. The results showed that the desert riparian forest produced new plant biomass with 0.79 g C kg−1 of water loss during the growing season. In the study period, monthly GPP and ET was tightly coupled, and the mean cumulative GPP and ET from May–October were 676 g C m−2 and 864 mm, respectively. Daily GPP and ET had similar relationships with global radiation (Rg), air temperature (Ta) and vapor pressure deficit at monthly scale. Consequently, the seasonal variations in WUE were not obvious in the growing season, except in September. In September, the value of WUE decreased significantly with an increase in Ta (for Ta>15 °C) after irrigation, which was attributable to the increased ET and a relatively steady GPP. It is possible that the time of irrigation is able to affect the seasonal course of WUE. The study has implications that enable more rational water management to maintain the the health and activities of the riparian forest in such a hyper-arid region.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This study was supported by an international research grant awarded to Dr Ravinesh Deo under the Chinese Academy of Science Presidential Fellowship Initiative (2016).
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 18 May 2018 01:53
Last Modified: 21 May 2018 00:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: ecosystem water use efficiency; desert riparian forest; irrigation effects
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s12665-018-7518-z

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