12 Co-Evolution of Climate, Soil and Vegetation
Part 1. Theory, Organization and Scale
Published Online: 15 APR 2006
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences
How to Cite
Berry, S. L., Farquhar, G. D. and Roderick, M. L. 2006. Co-Evolution of Climate, Soil and Vegetation. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 1:12.
- Published Online: 15 APR 2006
The myriad of interactions between the vegetation, the soil, the climate, and the air involve transfers of energy and matter between the atmosphere and the lithosphere. In this article, these interactions are investigated mainly from the perspective of the vegetation. Most of the water taken up from the soil by plants is evaporated from the leaves via stomata during the process commonly referred to as transpiration. Transpiration of water is necessary for the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for photosynthesis. Through transpiration and photosynthesis, the vegetation links the energy, water, and carbon and other biogeochemical cycles. This linkage provides the backbone to the article. Sections deal with: energy and water limitations to transpiration and plant growth at the catchment scale; the relationship between plant water use and photosynthesis; ecological strategies and temporal variability of water use and volume of soil involved in exchange with the atmosphere; soil water holding capacity and mineral nutrient availability; and catchment scale relationships between vegetation, soil, and climate. In the final sections, the concept of optimality between climate, vegetation, soil, and air is introduced, and the potential application of the optimality approach to hydrology is reviewed.
- energy limitation;
- water limitation;
- ecological strategy