Original paper

Surface Conductance of Five Different Crops Based on 10 Years of Eddy-Covariance Measurements

Spank, Uwe; Köstner, Barbara; Moderow, Uta; Grünwald, Thomas; Bernhofer, Christian

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 25 No. 3 (2016), p. 251 - 266

75 references

published: Jun 20, 2016
published online: Mar 21, 2016
manuscript accepted: Dec 19, 2015
manuscript revision received: Dec 7, 2015
manuscript revision requested: Oct 20, 2015
manuscript received: Aug 27, 2015

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2016/0732

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The Penman-Monteith (PM) equation is a state-of-the-art modelling approach to simulate evapotranspiration (ET) at site and local scale. However, its practical application is often restricted by the availability and quality of required parameters. One of these parameters is the canopy conductance. Long term measurements of evapotranspiration by the eddy-covariance method provide an improved data basis to determine this parameter by inverse modelling. Because this approach may also include evaporation from the soil, not only the ‘actual’ canopy conductance but the whole surface conductance (gc) is addressed. Two full cycles of crop rotation with five different crop types (winter barley, winter rape seed, winter wheat, silage maize, and spring barley) have been continuously monitored for 10 years. These data form the basis for this study. As estimates of gc are obtained on basis of measurements, we investigated the impact of measurements uncertainties on obtained values of gc. Here, two different foci were inspected more in detail. Firstly, the effect of the energy balance closure gap (EBCG) on obtained values of gc was analysed. Secondly, the common hydrological practice to use vegetation height (hc) to determine the period of highest plant activity (i.e., times with maximum gc concerning CO2-exchange and transpiration) was critically reviewed. The results showed that hc and gc do only agree at the beginning of the growing season but increasingly differ during the rest of the growing season. Thus, the utilisation of hc as a proxy to assess maximum gc (gc,max) can lead to inaccurate estimates of gc,max which in turn can cause serious shortcomings in simulated ET. The light use efficiency (LUE) is superior to hc as a proxy to determine periods with maximum gc. Based on this proxy, crop specific estimates of gc,maxcould be determined for the first (and the second) cycle of crop rotation: winter barley, 19.2 mm s−1 (16.0 mm s−1); winter rape seed, 12.3 mm s−1 (13.1 mm s−1); winter wheat, 16.5 mm s−1 (11.2 mm s−1); silage maize, 7.4 mm s−1 (8.5 mm s−1); and spring barley, 7.0 mm s−1 (6.2 mm s−1).


big leaf modelcanopy conductancecanopy resistanceenergy balance closureerror analysisevapotranspirationhydrological modellinglight use efficiencyPenman-Monteith approachsite water budgetsoil evaporationtranspirationuncertainty assessment