Transpiration effect on runoff in two types of forest of the coast mountains, southern Chile
Keywords:Water balance, native evergreen forests, native deciduous forests, transpiration, runoff
(Received: 2013/09/03 - Accepted: 2013/11/20)
The present work compares the rate of transpiration and its effect in the runoff of watershed covered with evergreen (Bonifacio) and deciduous (Las Palmas) native forests, during the spring-summer season change. We used as variables the precipitation, runoff, leaf area index, transpiration of the species, and the distribution of water in the soil. The results show a greater consumption of water in the deciduous forest, by a greater evotranspiration of 2273.6 mm compared to the evergreen forest of 1740 mm, which generates a greater runoff than the last one. The comparison between leaf area indexes of the two forests shows a significant difference, especially during spring for the deciduous forest, since the increase of the transpiration rate due to the increase of biomass, generates fewer runoffs even though in this location there were more precipitations. Moreover, the species of the evergreen forest consumed the water of the first centimeters (10-20) of the soil profile; in contrast, in the deciduous forest we observed a greater decrease in the deep soil water content (40 cm). Regarding water yield, we show that the evergreen forest is more efficient than deciduous forest, during the period spring-summer.
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