PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2008, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): 32-38.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2008.01.005

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Review on the Coupled Carbon and Water Cycles in the Ter r estr ial Ecosystems

ZHAO FengHua1,2, YU GuiRui1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, the Center for Synthesis Research, Chinese Ecosystem Research Network Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
  • Received:2007-10-01 Revised:2007-10-01 Online:2008-01-25 Published:2008-01-25


Carbon and water cycles absorbed much attention in the global change researches. There were many observations indicating that they were robustly coupled in the terrestrial ecosys-tems. Here we reviewed the correlations between carbon and water cycles from leaf to canopy and to larger scales. Moreover, we discussed the general mechanisms of the coupling relationships between carbon and water cycles. The chain between carbon and water cycles was analyzed into four links: soil- plant link, plant- atmosphere link (stomata link), soil- atmosphere link and biochemical link. The causes for the strong correlations between carbon and water could be generalized as three fundamental functions: 1) the chemosynthesis between carbon and water; 2) the stomatal controls on gas exchange and its optimal function; and 3) the common driving forces and similar controls for carbon and water cycles in the terrestrial ecosystems. Water use efficiency defined as the ratio of carbon assimilation to water use also was discussed as a suitable term indicating the quantity relationship between carbon and water.

Key words: carbon cycle, global change, terrestrial ecosystem, water cycle, water use efficiency