Eco-hydrological feedbacks between surface sealing and woody vegetation in dry climates Academic Article uri icon


  • Physical sealing of the soil is a widespread natural process in the bare soil patches between shrubs, occurring frequently in dry environments. The seal layer has significantly lower hydraulic conductivity than the underlying undisturbed soil and thus, it affects significantly hydrological fluxes. Recent studies highlighted the significant role of the seal layer in controlling woody vegetation water availability through the allocation of overland flow. The seal layer however, induces another feedback by suppressing evaporation fluxes from the soil. This feedback is usually disregarded but it could have a broad impact on vegetation root water uptake (RWU). Up to date, no attempt has been made to quantify how the modulation of soil water content by the presence of a seal layer affects woody vegetation RWU. We approach this research gap using a model-based analysis of long term local …

publication date

  • December 1, 2013