This study was undertaken to quantify interannual variations of total evaporation (ET) in a tropical rainforest in Sarawak, Malaysia. To this end, we conducted 10-year meteorological measurements and formulated a simplified big-leaf model that reproduces transpiration (Et), rainfall interception (Ei), and ET as the sum of these. The model was validated independently using eddy covariance fluxes, rainfall interception based on throughfall and stemflow measurements, and sap flow measurements conducted for more than 2 years. Using the model, Et, Ei, and ET were estimated for the period 2000-2009. Annual Et, Ei, and ET averaged over 10 years were estimated as 1114, 209, and 1323. mm, respectively, with small seasonal fluctuations. The derived estimates showed conservative year-to-year variations in annual Et, Ei, and ET (CV = 5-7%) in contrast to considerable year-to-year variations in annual rainfall (CV = 11%). Specific rainfall characteristics (e.g. intense short duration storms) at this site can explain the conservative year-to-year Ei variations. Small interannual variations in meteorological conditions and absence of severe drought during the study period can explain the small year-to-year Et variations. To characterize ET at our site, we also compared Ei and ET at our site with those of other tropical forests. Based on the derived ET characteristics, we discuss possible ET changes in response to changes in rainfall regime at this site.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Atmospheric Science