|Title:||Evapotranspiration in a catchment dominated by eucalypt forest and woodland|
|Authors:||Henry, Joseph Douglas|
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.
|Abstract:||There is on-going need for reliable estimates of evapotranspiration (ET) at catchment scales to support objective decision-making for managing water supplies, and enhancing understanding of processes and modelling. Without reliable estimates of ET, water supply and catchment management agencies are exposed to significant economic, social and even environmental risks. This thesis focuses on identifying possible methodologies for estimating ET in a catchment dominated by eucalypt forest and woodland. More specifically, this thesis tests the hypothesis that different methods of deriving daily, catchment ET for a headwater in Australia meet underlying assumptions and yield similar results. The hypothesis was tested by using three approaches to estimate catchment ET: soil moisture changes (point scale), satellite imagery of leaf area index (MODIS, hillslope scale), and discharge (streamflow) and the storage-discharge relationship (catchment scale). Data from Corin Catchment, an unregulated catchment vital to the Australian Capital Territory and the surrounding region, is the basis of this study. After the General Introduction (Chapter 1), methods for estimating ET in eucalypt communities throughout Australia at various temporal and spatial scales are systematically reviewed (Chapter 2). Of the 1614 original research papers investigated, 52 were included for further investigation. A clear outcome is that transpiration by the overstorey, measured using sap flow, is the most frequently measured component of ET, and that physiological studies dominate estimates of ET. Very few studies were conducted at the catchment scale. Further, scaling ET from tree to catchment scales was rarely attempted, and the effect of scaling for water resource management is mostly unquantified and requires attention. The first method used to calculate catchment ET is based on up-scaling of soil moisture changes on the basis of a digital soil map (Chapter 4). The data presented here rejects the hypothesis that ET (derived from soil moisture) and overstorey transpiration (derived from sap flow) are well correlated. Instead, the data suggest that soil moisture-derived ET and overstorey transpiration obtained water from different sources. The key findings of this chapter are that this approach is not suitable for estimating ET at catchment scales because it is restricted to drier periods, and because trees did not solely rely on the defined root-zone for water supply. The second method to calculate catchment scale ET (Chapter 5) tests if hillslope-scale satellite imagery (MODIS leaf area index) can be up-scaled to estimate catchment ET. An outcome of this work is that caution is needed when using MODIS leaf area index for water resource planning in evergreen forests across the globe, particularly for forests with significant understorey and a relatively open overstorey canopy at some periods of the year. This method is deemed not suitable for estimating ET over the study area. The third method to calculate catchment scale ET (Chapter 6) is based on integrating discharge using a single non-linear equation to characterise the study area. This method yielded catchment ET far greater (18 times larger) than the largest observed measure of potential ET. As with the method based on soil moisture changes, it was restricted to drier periods. This method was clearly unsuitable for estimating ET over the study area due to relatively quick recession, large range in hourly discharge and significant scattered recession at low discharge. Overall, this thesis rejects the hypothesis that different methods of deriving daily, catchment ET for a headwater in Australia meet underlying assumptions and yield similar results. An important limitation identified through this research is the ability to determine a ‘correct’ estimate of catchment ET. Further research should focus on enhancing understanding of scaling ET within and beyond Australia, generating more daily catchment ET from up-scaled soil moisture changes, further evaluating ET from up-scaled satellite imagery, and identifying catchment characteristics to allow ET to be derived from discharge. Water resource managers must be diligent when selecting and applying a method to estimate catchment ET.|
|Type of Work:||PhD Doctorate|
|Type of Publication:||Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
|Joseph+HENRY+Final+Thesis.pdf||Thesis||12.91 MB||Adobe PDF|
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