Variability in water resources and plant productivity

6.3.1 Temporal variability in water resources

Some biomes are characterised by the strong seasonality of water availability. For plant productivity it is not indifferent if the water comes continuously in a regular fashion, or if it comes in widely separated instalments (Harper et al., 2005). In tropical savannas, grasslands and regions with Mediterranean climate, there are several months without rain, occasionally interrupted by sporadic rainfall events. In

Table 6.1 NPP, annual water supply (precipitation + irrigation) and WUEe, i.e., the quotient of biomass production to water supply in a eucalypt plantation in Furadouro, central Portugal, 6 years after planting* (adapted from Madeira et al., 2002)

Water supply (mm)


NPP (aboveground) (kg m 2 year 1 )

WUEe (g mm-1)

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