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Plant water resource partitioning and isotopic fractionation during transpiration in a seasonally dry tropical climate

(2017) BIOGEOSCIENCES. 14(1). p.73-88
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Abstract
Lake Chala (3 degrees 19' S, 37 degrees 42' E) is a steep-sided crater lake situated in equatorial East Africa, a tropical semiarid area with a bimodal rainfall pattern. Plants in this region are exposed to a prolonged dry season, and we investigated if (1) these plants show spatial variability and temporal shifts in their water source use; (2) seasonal differences in the isotopic composition of precipitation are reflected in xylem water; and (3) plant family, growth form, leaf phenology, habitat and season influence the xylem-to-leaf water deuterium enrichment. In this study, the delta H-2 and delta O-18 of precipitation, lake water, groundwater, plant xylem water and plant leaf water were measured across different plant species, seasons and plant habitats in the vicinity of Lake Chala. We found that plants rely mostly on water from the "short" rains falling from October to December (northeastern monsoon), as these recharge the soil after the long dry season. This plant-available, static water pool is only slightly replenished by the "long" rains falling from February to May (southeastern monsoon), in agreement with the "two water worlds" hypothesis, according to which plants rely on a static water pool while a mobile water pool recharges the groundwater. Spatial variability in water resource use exists in the study region, with plants at the lakeshore relying on a water source admixed with lake water. Leaf phenology does not affect water resource use. According to our results, plant species and their associated leaf phenology are the primary factors influencing the enrichment in deuterium from xylem water to leaf water (epsilon(1/x)), with deciduous species giving the highest enrichment, while growth form and season have negligible effects. Our observations have important implications for the interpretation of delta(2)H( )of plant leaf wax n-alkanes (delta H-2(wax)) from paleohydrological records in tropical East Africa, given that the temporal variability in the isotopic composition of precipitation is not reflected in xylem water and that leaf water deuterium enrichment is a key factor in shaping delta H-2(wax center dot) The large interspecies variability in xylem-leaf enrichment (24 +/- 28 parts per thousand) is potentially troublesome, taking into account the likelihood of changes in species assemblage with climate shifts.
Keywords
EQUATORIAL EAST-AFRICA, SEDIMENTARY N-ALKANES, LEAF WATER, D/H RATIOS, SOIL-WATER, LAKE CHALLA, ENVIRONMENTAL-CONTROL, LIPID BIOSYNTHESIS, HYDROGEN ISOTOPES, STABLE-ISOTOPES

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MLA
De Wispelaere, Lien, et al. “Plant Water Resource Partitioning and Isotopic Fractionation during Transpiration in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Climate.” BIOGEOSCIENCES, vol. 14, no. 1, 2017, pp. 73–88.
APA
De Wispelaere, L., Bodé, S., Hervé Fernández, P. A., Hemp, A., Verschuren, D., & Boeckx, P. (2017). Plant water resource partitioning and isotopic fractionation during transpiration in a seasonally dry tropical climate. BIOGEOSCIENCES, 14(1), 73–88.
Chicago author-date
De Wispelaere, Lien, Samuel Bodé, Pedro Alejandro Hervé Fernández, Andreas Hemp, Dirk Verschuren, and Pascal Boeckx. 2017. “Plant Water Resource Partitioning and Isotopic Fractionation during Transpiration in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Climate.” BIOGEOSCIENCES 14 (1): 73–88.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Wispelaere, Lien, Samuel Bodé, Pedro Alejandro Hervé Fernández, Andreas Hemp, Dirk Verschuren, and Pascal Boeckx. 2017. “Plant Water Resource Partitioning and Isotopic Fractionation during Transpiration in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Climate.” BIOGEOSCIENCES 14 (1): 73–88.
Vancouver
1.
De Wispelaere L, Bodé S, Hervé Fernández PA, Hemp A, Verschuren D, Boeckx P. Plant water resource partitioning and isotopic fractionation during transpiration in a seasonally dry tropical climate. BIOGEOSCIENCES. 2017;14(1):73–88.
IEEE
[1]
L. De Wispelaere, S. Bodé, P. A. Hervé Fernández, A. Hemp, D. Verschuren, and P. Boeckx, “Plant water resource partitioning and isotopic fractionation during transpiration in a seasonally dry tropical climate,” BIOGEOSCIENCES, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 73–88, 2017.
@article{8520882,
  abstract     = {Lake Chala (3 degrees 19' S, 37 degrees 42' E) is a steep-sided crater lake situated in equatorial East Africa, a tropical semiarid area with a bimodal rainfall pattern. Plants in this region are exposed to a prolonged dry season, and we investigated if (1) these plants show spatial variability and temporal shifts in their water source use; (2) seasonal differences in the isotopic composition of precipitation are reflected in xylem water; and (3) plant family, growth form, leaf phenology, habitat and season influence the xylem-to-leaf water deuterium enrichment. In this study, the delta H-2 and delta O-18 of precipitation, lake water, groundwater, plant xylem water and plant leaf water were measured across different plant species, seasons and plant habitats in the vicinity of Lake Chala. We found that plants rely mostly on water from the "short" rains falling from October to December (northeastern monsoon), as these recharge the soil after the long dry season. This plant-available, static water pool is only slightly replenished by the "long" rains falling from February to May (southeastern monsoon), in agreement with the "two water worlds" hypothesis, according to which plants rely on a static water pool while a mobile water pool recharges the groundwater. Spatial variability in water resource use exists in the study region, with plants at the lakeshore relying on a water source admixed with lake water. Leaf phenology does not affect water resource use. According to our results, plant species and their associated leaf phenology are the primary factors influencing the enrichment in deuterium from xylem water to leaf water (epsilon(1/x)), with deciduous species giving the highest enrichment, while growth form and season have negligible effects. Our observations have important implications for the interpretation of delta(2)H( )of plant leaf wax n-alkanes (delta H-2(wax)) from paleohydrological records in tropical East Africa, given that the temporal variability in the isotopic composition of precipitation is not reflected in xylem water and that leaf water deuterium enrichment is a key factor in shaping delta H-2(wax center dot) The large interspecies variability in xylem-leaf enrichment (24 +/- 28 parts per thousand) is potentially troublesome, taking into account the likelihood of changes in species assemblage with climate shifts.},
  author       = {De Wispelaere, Lien and Bodé, Samuel and Hervé Fernández, Pedro Alejandro and Hemp, Andreas and Verschuren, Dirk and Boeckx, Pascal},
  issn         = {1726-4170},
  journal      = {BIOGEOSCIENCES},
  keywords     = {EQUATORIAL EAST-AFRICA,SEDIMENTARY N-ALKANES,LEAF WATER,D/H RATIOS,SOIL-WATER,LAKE CHALLA,ENVIRONMENTAL-CONTROL,LIPID BIOSYNTHESIS,HYDROGEN ISOTOPES,STABLE-ISOTOPES},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {73--88},
  title        = {Plant water resource partitioning and isotopic fractionation during transpiration in a seasonally dry tropical climate},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-73-2017},
  volume       = {14},
  year         = {2017},
}

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