The Eco-Hydrological Role of Physical Surface Sealing in Dry Environments Conference Paper uri icon


  • Soil surface sealing is a widespread natural process in dry environments occurring frequently in bare soil areas between vegetation patches. The low hydraulic conductivity that characterizes the seal layer reduces both infiltration and evaporation fluxes from the soil, and thus has the potential to affect local vegetation water availability and consequently transpiration rates. This effect is investigated here using two separate physically based models-a runoff model, and a root water uptake model. High resolution rainfall data is used to demonstrate the seal layer effect on runoff generation and vegetation water availability, while the seal layer effect on vegetation water uptake is studied using a long-term climatic dataset (44 years) from three dry sites presenting a climatic gradient in the Negev Desert, Israel. The Feddes water uptake parameters for the dominant shrub at the study site …

publication date

  • January 1, 2016