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A canopy transpiration model based on scaling up stomatal conductance and radiation interception as affected by leaf area index


Alam, MS and Lamb, DW and Warwick, NWM, A canopy transpiration model based on scaling up stomatal conductance and radiation interception as affected by leaf area index, Water, 13, (3) Article 252. ISSN 2073-4441 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY4.0) license (https://

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DOI: doi:10.3390/w13030252


Estimating transpiration as an individual component of canopy evapotranspiration using a theoretical approach is extremely useful as it eliminates the complexity involved in partitioning evapotranspiration. A model to predict transpiration based on radiation intercepted at various levels of canopy leaf area index (LAI) was developed in a controlled environment using a pasture species, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea var. Demeter). The canopy was assumed to be a composite of two indistinct layers defined as sunlit and shaded; the proportion of which was calculated by utilizing a weighted model (W model). The radiation energy utilized by each layer was calculated from the PAR at the top of the canopy and the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR) corresponding to the LAI of the sunlit and shaded layers. A relationship between LAI and fAPAR was also established for this specific canopy to aid the calculation of energy interception. Canopy conductance was estimated from scaling up of stomatal conductance measured at the individual leaf level. Other environmental factors that drive transpiration were monitored accordingly for each individual layer. The Penman–Monteith and Jarvis evapotranspiration models were used as the basis to construct a modified transpiration model suitable for controlled environment conditions. Specially, constructed self-watering tubs were used to measure actual transpiration to validate the model output. The model provided good agreement of measured transpiration (actual transpiration = 0.96 × calculated transpiration, R2 = 0.98; p < 0.001) with the predicted values. This was particularly so at lower LAIs. Probable reasons for the discrepancy at higher LAI are explained. Both the predicted and experimental transpiration varied from 0.21 to 0.56 mm h−1 for the range of available LAIs. The physical proportion of the shaded layer exceeded that of the sunlit layer near LAI of 3.0, however, the contribution of the sunlit layer to the total transpiration remains higher throughout the entire growing season.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Evapotranspiration, Stomatal Conductance
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences
UTAS Author:Alam, MS (Mr Muhammad Shahinur Alam)
ID Code:154225
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2022-11-14
Last Modified:2022-12-12

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