Potential Variation of Evapotranspiration Induced by Typical Vegetation Changes in Northwest China
Evapotranspiration (ET), as a key eco-hydrological parameter, plays an important role in understanding sustainable ecosystem development. Each plant category has a unique functional trait on transpiration and photosynthesis, with ET implying that water cycle and energy transformation is linked with vegetation type. Changes in surface vegetation directly alter biophysical land surface properties, hence affecting energy and ET transfer. With the rapid increase in land surface changes, there is a
... eed to further understand and quantify the effects of vegetation change on ET, especially over the vulnerable water-cycle region in the arid and semi-arid regions of Northwest China. We adopted the GlobalLand30 land cover and MOD16A2 in 2010 and 2020 to investigate, discuss the spatio-temporal characteristics of annual and seasonal ET of cultivated land, grassland, and forests in Northwest China, and quantify the impact on vegetation changes with absolute and relative changes from different climatic subecoregions on ET. Our results show the following: (1) Forest ET was generally the highest at 688 mm, followed by cultivated land and grassland with 200–400 mm in arid climatic subecoregions. (2) Returning cultivated land to forests and cultivated land expansion potentially enhances ET by 90–110 mm/10a, with the relative rate of change increasing by 22.1% and 45.8%, respectively, away from unchanged vegetation within identical subecoregions. (3) The ET of most investigated areas gains the highest value in summer, followed by spring, autumn, and winter. This study provides reference for sustainable ecosystem development and the reasonable utilization of limited water resources in Northwest China.