Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-7-525-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-7-525-2016
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28 Jun 2016
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 28 Jun 2016

Spatial and temporal variations in plant water-use efficiency inferred from tree-ring, eddy covariance and atmospheric observations

Stefan C. Dekker, Margriet Groenendijk, Ben B. B. Booth, Chris Huntingford, and Peter M. Cox

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Our analysis allows us to infer maps of changing plant water-use efficiency (WUE) for 1901–2010, using atmospheric observations of temperature, humidity and CO2. Our estimated increase in global WUE is consistent with the tree-ring and eddy covariance data, but much larger than the historical WUE increases simulated by Earth System Models (ESMs). We therefore conclude that the effects of increasing CO2 on plant WUE are significantly underestimated in the latest climate projections.
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