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The role of rainfall and soil water in shaping land-vegetation-atmosphere interactions
Convener: K. Smettem  | Co-Conveners: F. Francés , S. Manfreda , N. Montaldo , M. Sivapalan , V. Iacobellis , Egger , D. Or , J. Vanderborght , M. Coenders-Gerrits , O. G. Terranova , E. Morin , J. Friesen , P. Llorens , A. Hildebrandt , D. Dunkerley 
Oral Programme
 / Fri, 27 Apr, 08:30–12:00  / 13:30–17:00  / Room 36
Poster Programme
 / Attendance Thu, 26 Apr, 17:30–19:00  / Hall A

Rainfall at the soil surface and soil moisture processes in the subsurface near-land-surface play a crucial role in the hydrologic cycle and shape vegetation patterns affecting exchanges across the biosphere-atmosphere interface. These vegetation structures arise from interactions between soils, climate, and vegetation that influence hydrological processes through modification of rainfall interception, infiltration, evapotranspiration, surface runoff, and groundwater recharge. Better understanding of near-surface soil moisture feedbacks is crucial for soil evaporation and evapotranspiration estimation, climate modeling and more. The interactive manner by which resource availability are manifested within various ecological systems observed in nature is critical to the development of theories regarding the nature of competition and the maintenance of biodiversity. In this regard, the interrelationship between ecological and geophysical determinants of surface water balance is at the forefront of a number of outstanding issues in both hydrological and ecological sciences. For example, the space-time distribution of soil moisture provides a crucial link between hydrological and ecological processes through its controlling influence on soil evaporation, transpiration, runoff generation, carbon assimilation and nutrient absorption by plants. This session solicits papers that address the coupled ecological-hydrological processes governing surface water balance, basin response and vegetation dynamics in landscapes. We seek contributions that explore these issues through any combination of experimentation, observation, and theoretical approaches, ranging from canopy to basin scales. We are especially interested in presentations that explicitly link these approaches and explore modelling combinations and new measurement technologies, to answer challenging problems such as the rearrangement of ecosystem structure and function under directional climate change. Potential topics of interest include the biogeochemical cycling, the nature of plant community responses to variability in climate, the co-organization of vegetation patterns and surface hydrological fluxes, the occurrences of hydrological extremes (flood and drought) under various climatic forcing and physiographic conditions. Paper dealing with the impact of hydrological extremes on natural ecosystem and their mutual relationships are also welcome.