Effects of changes in climatic conditions on soil water storage patterns

Ehrhardt, Annelie; Groh, Jannis S.; Gerke, Horst H.

The soil water storage (SWS) defines crop productivity of a soil and varies under differing climatic conditions. Pattern identification and quantification of these variations remains difficult due to the non-linear behaviour of SWS changes over time.

We hypothesize that these patterns can be revealed by applying wavelet analysis to an eight-year time series of SWS, precipitation (P) and actual evapotranspiration (ETa) in similar soils of lysimeters in a colder and drier location and a warmer and wetter location within Germany. Correlations between SWS, P and ETa at these sites might reveal the influence of altered climatic conditions but also from subsequent wet and dry years on SWS changes.

We found that wet and dry years exerted influence on SWS changes by leading to faster or slower response times of SWS changes to precipitation in respect to normal years. Extreme precipitation events were visible in SWS and P wavelet spectra. Time shifts in correlations between ETa and SWS became smaller at the wetter and warmer site over time in comparison to the cooler and drier site where they stayed constant. This could be attributed to an earlier onset of the vegetation period over the years and thus to an earlier ETa peak every year and reflects the direct impact of changing climate on soil water budget parameters.

Long-term observations (>30 years) might reveal similar time shifts for a drier climate. Analysis of the SWS capacity could provide information on how different climatic conditions affect the long-term storage behaviour of soils.

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Zitierform:

Ehrhardt, Annelie / Groh, Jannis S. / Gerke, Horst H.: Effects of changes in climatic conditions on soil water storage patterns. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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