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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-254
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-254
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 28 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 28 May 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Temporal-dependent effects of rainfall characteristics on inter-/intra-event stemflow variability in two xerophytic shrubs

Chuan Yuan1,2,3, Guangyao Gao2, Bojie Fu2, Daming He1,3, Xingwu Duan1,3, and Xiaohua Wei4 Chuan Yuan et al.
  • 1Institute of International Rivers and Eco–security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 3Yunnan Key Laboratory of International Rivers and Trans-boundary Eco–security, Kunming 650091, China
  • 4Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences, University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus), Kelowna, British Columbia, V1V 1V7, Canada

Abstract. Stemflow is important for recharging root-zone soil moisture in arid regions. Previous studies have generally focused on stemflow volume, efficiency and influential factors but have failed to depict temporal stemflow processes and quantify their relationships with rainfall characteristics within events, particularly for xerophytic shrubs. Here, we measured the stemflow volume, intensity, duration and time lags to rain events of two xerophytic shrub species (Caragana korshinskii and Salix psammophila) and rainfall characteristics for 54 events in the Liudaogou catchment of the Loess Plateau, China, during the 2014-2015 rainy seasons. The results indicated that stemflow dynamics were well synchronized to rainfall processes. The stemflows of C. korshinskii and S. psammophila had larger average intensities (4.7 ± 1.5 and 4.8 ± 1.6 mm h−1, respectively) than that of rain at the event scale (4.5 ± 1.0 mm h−1), and the stemflows were even more intense (20.3 ± 10.4 and 16.9 ± 8.8 mm h−1, respectively) than that of rain at 10-min intervals (10.9 ± 2.1 mm h−1). The average stemflow durations of C. korshinskii and S. psammophila (3.8 ± 0.8 and 3.4 ± 0.9 h, respectively) were shorter than the rainfall duration (4.7 ± 0.8 h). Tested by a multiple correspondence analysis and stepwise regression, rainfall amount and duration controlled stemflow volume and duration, respectively, at the event scale by linear relationships (p < 0.01). Rainfall intensity and raindrop momentum controlled stemflow intensity and time lags for both species at the intra-event scale by linear or power relationships (p < 0.01). Rainfall intensity was the key factor for the stemflow process of C. korshinskii, whereas raindrop momentum had the greatest influence on the stemflow process of S. psammophila. Rainfall characteristics had temporal-dependent influences on corresponding stemflow variables, and the influence also depended on specific species.

Chuan Yuan et al.
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Short summary
The stemflow dynamics of two xerophytic shrubs were investigated at the inter- and intra-event scales with high-temporal resolution data measured in 54 rainfall events. Stemflow process was depicted by intensity, duration and time lags to rain events. Stemflow dynamics were well synchronized with rainfall processes. Rainfall intensity and raindrop momentum controlled stemflow intensity and time lags. The influences of rainfall characteristics on stemflow variables showed temporal dependence.
The stemflow dynamics of two xerophytic shrubs were investigated at the inter- and intra-event...
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