Leaf water δ 18/O, δ2H and d-excess isoscapes for Australia using region-specific plant parameters and non-equilibrium vapour

McInerney, Francesca A., Gerber, Christoph, Dangerfield, Emma, Cernusak, Lucas A., Puccini, Athina, Szarvas, Steve, Singh, Tanoj, and Welti, Nina (2023) Leaf water δ 18/O, δ2H and d-excess isoscapes for Australia using region-specific plant parameters and non-equilibrium vapour. Hydrological Processes, 37 (5). e14878.

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Abstract

Oxygen (δ18O) and hydrogen (δ2H) isotope ratios, and their relationship to one another (d-excess) are altered as water travels from the atmosphere to the land surface, into soils and plants and back to the atmosphere. Plants return water to the atmosphere through transpiration (evaporation through the stomata), which causes isotopic fractionation concentrating the heavier isotopes (18O and 2H) in the water that remains behind in the leaves. The degree of isotopic fractionation during transpiration is controlled largely by climate, and as a result can be predicted using process-based models and climate data. The modelled transpirational isotopic fractionation can be applied to plant source water isotopic values to predict leaf water isotope ratios and generate maps of isotopic composition, or isoscapes. This approach of mechanistic modelling has been well demonstrated in the first generation of global leaf water isoscapes (PLoS One, 3(6), e2447, 2008). However, use of leaf water isoscapes in fields such as hydrology, ecology, and forensics requires a new generation of updated region-specific isoscapes. Here, we generate leaf water isoscapes of δ18O, δ2H and d-excess for Australia, the driest vegetated continent on Earth, where leaf water represents a critical water resource for ecosystems. These isoscapes represent an improvement over previous global isoscapes due to their higher resolution, region-specific, empirically derived plant parameters, and non-equilibrium corrections for water vapour isotopic composition. The new isoscapes for leaf water are evaluated relative to observed isotope ratios of leaf cellulose and cherry juice. The model predictions for annual average leaf water isotope ratios showed strong correlations with these plant tissues that integrate over time. Moreover, inclusion of region-specific leaf temperature estimates and non-equilibirum vapour corrections improved prediction accuracy. Regionally based isoscapes provide improved characterisations of average leaf water isotope ratios needed to support research in hydrology, plant ecophysiology, atmospheric science, ecology, and geographic provenancing of biological materials.

Item ID: 78942
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1099-1085
Keywords: Australia, deuterium, isoscapes, leaf water, oxygen
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. © 2023 The Authors. Hydrological Processes published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2023 01:19
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310806 Plant physiology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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