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Reliable estimates of evapotranspiration from areas of wildland vegetation are needed for many types of water-resource investigations. However, little is known about surface fluxes from many areally important vegetation types, and relatively few comparisons have been made to examine how well evapotranspiration models can predict evapotranspiration for soil-, climate-, or vegetation-types that differ from those under which the models have been calibrated. In this investigation at a prairie site in west-central Florida, latent heat flux (??E) computed from the energy balance and alternatively by eddy covariance during a 15-month period differed by 4 percent and 7 percent on hourly and daily time scales, respectively. Annual evapotranspiration computed from the energy balance and by eddy covariance were 978 and 944 mm, respectively. An hourly Penman-Monteith (PM) evapotranspiration model with stomatal control predicated on water-vapor-pressure deficit at canopy level, incoming solar radiation intensity, and soil water deficit was developed and calibrated using surface fluxes from eddy covariance. Model-predicted ??E agreed closely with ??E computed from the energy balance except when moisture from dew or precipitation covered vegetation surfaces. Finally, an hourly PM model developed for an Amazonian pasture predicted ??E for the Florida prairie with unexpected reliability. Additional comparisons of PM-type models that have been developed for differing types of short vegetation could aid in assessing interchangeability of such models.
Additional Publication Details
Evapotranspiration and canopy resistance at an undeveloped prairie in a humid subtropical climate
Journal of the American Water Resources Association