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Linking evapotranspiration seasonal cycles to the water balance of headwater catchments with contrasting land uses
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  • Alberto M. L. Peixoto Neto,
  • Ian Cartwright,
  • Marcela R. F. Silva,
  • Ian McHugh,
  • P. Evan Dresel,
  • Bertrand Teodosio,
  • Dusan Jovanovic,
  • Malcom R. McCaskill,
  • John Webb,
  • Edoardo Daly
Alberto M. L. Peixoto Neto
Monash University Department of Civil Engineering

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ian Cartwright
Monash University School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment
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Marcela R. F. Silva
Monash University Department of Civil Engineering
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Ian McHugh
The University of Melbourne School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences
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P. Evan Dresel
Victoria Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions
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Bertrand Teodosio
Victoria University Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
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Dusan Jovanovic
Univerzitet u Novom Sadu Gradevinski Fakultet Subotica
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Malcom R. McCaskill
Victoria Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions
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John Webb
La Trobe University Department of Ecology Environment and Evolution
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Edoardo Daly
Monash University Department of Civil Engineering
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Land use affects evapotranspiration rates and is a primary driver of the catchment water balance. The water balance of two catchments in southeastern Australia dominated by either grazed pasture or blue gum ( Eucalyptus globulus) plantation was studied, focusing on the patterns of evapotranspiration (ET) throughout the year. Rainfall, streamflow, and groundwater levels measured between 2015-2019 were combined to estimate annual ET using a water balance equation. In the pasture, eddy covariance was used to measure ET from the catchment. Sap flow measurements were used to estimate tree transpiration in May 2017 – May 2018 and Feb 2019 – Feb 2021 in two different plots within the plantation. The tree transpiration rates were added to direct evaporation, estimated as a percentage of annual rainfall, to calculate ET from the plantation catchment. ET in the pasture showed strong seasonal cycles with very low ET rates in summer and ET rates in spring that were larger than the transpiration rates in the plantation, where trees transpired consistently throughout the year. The estimated annual ET from the water balance equation were comparable to ET estimated from other measurements. In the pasture, ET on average accounted for 88% of annual rainfall, while ET in the plantation was on average 93% of rainfall, exceeding it in the years with annual rainfall lower than 500 mm. The difference between the ET rates in the plantation and the pasture were approximately 30 to 50 mm y­ -1. The larger ET rates in the plantation are reflected in a gradual decrease in the groundwater storage. The differences in ET rates were thus enough to cause a decrease in groundwater storage in the plantation, while the groundwater levels in the pasture remained stable.
26 Apr 2022Submitted to Hydrological Processes
10 May 2022Submission Checks Completed
10 May 2022Assigned to Editor
10 May 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
01 Jul 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 Aug 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Major
10 Oct 20221st Revision Received
10 Oct 2022Assigned to Editor
10 Oct 2022Submission Checks Completed
10 Oct 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Nov 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Nov 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
28 Nov 20222nd Revision Received
10 Dec 2022Submission Checks Completed
10 Dec 2022Assigned to Editor
10 Dec 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
10 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
10 Dec 2022Editorial Decision: Accept