Water cycling in a Bornean tropical rain forest under current and projected precipitation scenarios

Tomo'omi Kumagai, Gabriel G. Katul, Taku M. Saitoh, Yoshinobu Sato, Odair J. Manfroi, Toshiyuki Morooka, Tomoaki Ichie, Koichiro Kuraji, Masakazu Suzuki, Amilcare Porporato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Southeastern Asian tropical rain forests are among the most important biomes in terms of annual productivity and water cycling. How their hydrologic budgets are altered by projected shifts in precipitation is examined using a combination of field measurements, global climate model (GCM) simulation output, and a simplified hydrologic model. The simplified hydrologic model is developed with its primary forcing term being rainfall statistics. A main novelty in this analysis is that the effects of increased (or decreased) precipitation on increased (or decreased) cloud cover and hence evapotranspiration is explicitly considered. The model is validated against field measurements conducted in a tropical rain forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. It is demonstrated that the model reproduces the probability density function of soil moisture content (s), transpiration (Tr), interception (Ic), and leakage loss (Q). On the basis of this model and projected shifts in precipitation statistics by GCM the probability distribution of Ic, Q and, to a lesser extent, s varied appreciably at seasonal timescales. The probability distribution of Tr was least impacted by projected shifts in precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)W011041-W0110412
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


  • Eddy covariance
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Soil moisture
  • Stochastic process
  • Tropical rainforest
  • Water cycling


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