The depth distribution of soil water contributions to plant water uptake is poorly known. Here we evaluate the main water sources used by plants at the global scale and the effect of climate and plant groups on water uptake variability and depth distribution. The global meta-analysis is based on isotope data (δ2H and δ18O) extracted from 65 peer-reviewed papers published between 1990 and 2017. We applied a new direct inference method to quantify the overlap between xylem water and soil water sources used by plants. The median overlap between xylem water and soil water at different depths varied between 28% and 100%, but they were generally >50%. The shallow (0-10 cm) soil water overlap with xylem water was largest in cold regions (100% ± 0%) and lowest at tropical sites (about 28%). Conversely, the median overlap between xylem water and deep soil water was largest in the arid and the tropical zones (>75%) and much smaller in the temperate and cold zones. Our results suggest that the isotopic composition of xylem water reflects mostly the signature of shallow soil water (<30 cm) in the cold and the temperate zones, whereas in the arid and the tropical zones, plants appear to exploit water in deeper soil layers. Our novel, simple statistically-based direct inference method performed well in determining these differences in water sources, and can be applied more widely to isotope-based plant water uptake studies.

Depth distribution of soil water sourced by plants at the global scale: A new direct inference approach / Amin A.; Zuecco G.; Geris J.; Schwendenmann L.; McDonnell J.J.; Borga M.; Penna D.. - In: ECOHYDROLOGY. - ISSN 1936-0584. - ELETTRONICO. - 13:(2020), pp. 1-15. [10.1002/eco.2177]

Depth distribution of soil water sourced by plants at the global scale: A new direct inference approach

Penna D.
2020

Abstract

The depth distribution of soil water contributions to plant water uptake is poorly known. Here we evaluate the main water sources used by plants at the global scale and the effect of climate and plant groups on water uptake variability and depth distribution. The global meta-analysis is based on isotope data (δ2H and δ18O) extracted from 65 peer-reviewed papers published between 1990 and 2017. We applied a new direct inference method to quantify the overlap between xylem water and soil water sources used by plants. The median overlap between xylem water and soil water at different depths varied between 28% and 100%, but they were generally >50%. The shallow (0-10 cm) soil water overlap with xylem water was largest in cold regions (100% ± 0%) and lowest at tropical sites (about 28%). Conversely, the median overlap between xylem water and deep soil water was largest in the arid and the tropical zones (>75%) and much smaller in the temperate and cold zones. Our results suggest that the isotopic composition of xylem water reflects mostly the signature of shallow soil water (<30 cm) in the cold and the temperate zones, whereas in the arid and the tropical zones, plants appear to exploit water in deeper soil layers. Our novel, simple statistically-based direct inference method performed well in determining these differences in water sources, and can be applied more widely to isotope-based plant water uptake studies.
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Amin A.; Zuecco G.; Geris J.; Schwendenmann L.; McDonnell J.J.; Borga M.; Penna D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1189413
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