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The significance of soil water redistribution facilitated by roots (an extension of "hydraulic lift", here termed hydraulic redistribution) was assessed for a stand of Artemisia tridentata using measurements and a simulation model. The model incorporated water movement within the soil via unsaturated flow and hydraulic redistribution and soil water loss from transpiration. The model used Buckingham-Darcy's law for unsaturated flow while hydraulic redistribution was developed as a function of the distribution of active roots, root conductance for water, and relative soil-root (rhizosphere) conductance for water. Simulations were conducted to compare model predictions with time courses of soil water potential at several...
The temporal patterns of soil water potential in a stand of Artemisia tridentata in central Utah, USA, were monitored during the summer, which included small periodic rainfall events, and over the winter, when most of the soil recharge occurs in this environment. The pattern of recharge, when compared to an area cleared of aboveground vegetation, strongly indicated that the downward movement of water to 1.5 m was primarily conducted via roots by the process known as hydraulic redistribution. Rainwater was moved rapidly downward shortly after the rain event and continued over a period of a few days. For rainwater reaching a 0.3–1.5 m depth, the portion redistributed by roots was estimated to range from 100% for...

    map background search result map search result map Hydraulic redistribution in a stand of Artemisia tridentata: evaluation of benefits to transpiration assessed with a simulation model Rapid soil moisture recharge to depth by roots in a stand of Artemisia tridentata