Intensive or extensive use of soil moisture: Plant strategies to cope with stochastic water availability

Authors

  • Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe,

    1. Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
    2. Graduate Program in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Amilcare Porporato,

    1. Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
    2. Graduate Program in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Francesco Laio,

    1. Dipartimento di Idraulica, Transporti e Infrastrutture Civili, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Luca Ridolfi

    1. Dipartimento di Idraulica, Transporti e Infrastrutture Civili, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Some plants rely on a dependable winter recharge, as opposed to others that quickly respond to the intermittent and uncertain rainfall during the growing season. Using a stochastic model for the soil moisture process and a quantitative measure of plant water stress, we find climate, soil, and vegetation characteristics leading to the dominance or possible coexistence of these two strategies of water use.

Ancillary