Current issue: 53(2)
Under compilation: 53(3)
The model HYDRA, which simulates water flow in the branched tree architecture, is characterized. Empirical studies of the last decades give strong evidence for a close structure-function linkage in the case of tree water flow. Like stomatal regulation, spatial patterns of leaf specific conductivity can be regarded as a strategy counteracting conductivity losses, which may arise under drought. Branching-oriented water flow simulation may help to understand how damaging and compensating mechanisms interact within the hydraulic network of trees. Furthermore, a coupling of hydraulic to morphological modelling is a prerequisite if water flow shall be linked to other processes. Basic assumptions of the tree water flow model HYDRA are mass conservation, Darcy's law and the spatial homogeneity of capacitance and axial conductivity. Soil water potential is given as a one-sided border condition. Water flow is driven by transpiration. For unbranched regions these principles are condensed to a nonlinear diffusion equation, which serves as a continuous reference for the discrete method tailored to the specific features of the hydraulic network. The mathematical derivation and model tests indicate that the realization of the basic assumptions is reproducible and sufficiently exact. Moreover, structure and function are coupled in a flexible and computationally efficient manner. Thus, HYDRA may serve as a tool for the comparative study of different tree architectures in terms of hydraulic function.
In this study we analyse how the ion concentrations in forest soil solution are determined by hydrological and biogeochemical processes. A dynamic mode ACIDIC was developed, including processes common to dynamic soil acidification models. The model treats one to eight interacting layers and simulates soil hydrology, transpiration, root water and nutrient uptake, cation exchange, dissolutions and reaction of Al hydroxides in solution, and the formation of carbonic acid and its dissociation products. It includes also a possibility to a simultaneous use of preferential and matrix flow paths, enabling the throughfall water to enter the deeper soil layers in macropores without first reacting with the upper layers. Three different combinations of routing the throughfall water via macro- and micropores through the soil profile is presented. The large vertical gradient in the observed total charge was simulated successfully. According to the simulations, gradient is mostly caused by differences in the intensity of water uptake, sulphate adsorption and organic anion retention at the various depths. The temporal variations in Ca and Mg concentrations were simulated fairly well in all soil layers. For H+, Al and K there were much more variation in the observed than in the simulated concentrations. Flow in macropores is a possible explanation for the apparent disequilibrium of the cation exchange for H+ ad K, as the solution H+ and K concentrations have great vertical gradients in soil. The amount of exchangeable H+ increased in O and E horizons and decreased in the Bs1 and Bs2 horizons, the net change in whole soil profile being a decrease. A large part of the decrease of the exchangeable H+ in the illuvial B horizon was caused by sulphate adsorption. The model produces soil water amounts and solution ion concentrations which are comparable to the measured values, and it can be used in both hydrological and chemical studies of soils.