Ecological optimality in water‐limited natural soil‐vegetation systems: 1. Theory and hypothesis

Ecological optimality in water‐limited natural soil‐vegetation systems: 1. Theory and hypothesis The solution space of an approximate statistical‐dynamic model of the average annual water balance is explored with respect to the hydrologic parameters of both soil and vegetation. Within the accuracy of this model it is shown that water‐limited natural vegetation systems are in stable equilibrium with their climatic and pedologic environments when the canopy density and species act to minimize average water demand stress. Theory shows a climatic limit to this equilibrium above which it is hypothesized that ecological pressure is toward maximization of biomass productivity. It is further hypothesized that natural soil‐vegetation systems will develop gradually and synergistically, through vegetation‐induced changes in soil structure, toward a set of hydraulic soil properties for which the minimum stress canopy density of a given species is maximum in a given climate. Using these hypotheses, only the soil effective porosity need be known to determine the optimum soil and vegetation parameters in a given climate. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Water Resources Research Wiley

Ecological optimality in water‐limited natural soil‐vegetation systems: 1. Theory and hypothesis

Water Resources Research, Volume 18 (2) – Apr 1, 1982

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1982 by the American Geophysical Union.
ISSN
0043-1397
eISSN
1944-7973
D.O.I.
10.1029/WR018i002p00325
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The solution space of an approximate statistical‐dynamic model of the average annual water balance is explored with respect to the hydrologic parameters of both soil and vegetation. Within the accuracy of this model it is shown that water‐limited natural vegetation systems are in stable equilibrium with their climatic and pedologic environments when the canopy density and species act to minimize average water demand stress. Theory shows a climatic limit to this equilibrium above which it is hypothesized that ecological pressure is toward maximization of biomass productivity. It is further hypothesized that natural soil‐vegetation systems will develop gradually and synergistically, through vegetation‐induced changes in soil structure, toward a set of hydraulic soil properties for which the minimum stress canopy density of a given species is maximum in a given climate. Using these hypotheses, only the soil effective porosity need be known to determine the optimum soil and vegetation parameters in a given climate.

Journal

Water Resources ResearchWiley

Published: Apr 1, 1982

References

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