Development of SVAT Models
Plants interact with the atmosphere in a variety of ways, but only
recently have scientists been able to describe these interactions mathematically
through the use of SVAT models.
Development of SVAT models has come from the convergence of two needs:
Prior attempts to link these two groups took the form of meteorologists using fixed vegetation
conditions and plant physiologists using fixed climate conditions.
- Meteorologists and climatologists need information on the heat and moisture input
to the atmosphere from the earth's surface (e.g., soil, vegetation, water bodies) and
how the surface extracts momentum and kinetic energy of the atmosphere through
- Biophysicists and ecologists need information about the temperature, humidity levels,
solar radiation, cloud cover, wind speed, precipitation, etc. to determine how plants
and plant communities respond to environmental conditions. Neither of these scientific communities had
sufficient computing power to consider how the vegetation and atmosphere interact and feedback to each
other. For instance, a long run of days with hot, dry conditions will force plants to use up all available
soil moisture, after which they will wilt (quit transpiring water) and turn brown or more silver green.
Their plant behavior changes the atmosphere ( in a small but perhaps significant way) by reducing a
moisture source and having more solar energy reflected by the wilting plants.
NEXT: SiB Model