iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Groundwater uptake of forest and agricultural land covers in regions of recharge and discharge

Norbert Móricz (1)   , Tibor Tóth (2), Kitti Balog (2), András Szabó (1), Ervin Rasztovits (1), Zoltán Gribovszki (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 5, Pages 696-701 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1864-009
Published: May 17, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Groundwater uptake of vegetation in discharge regions is known to play an important role, e.g., in the Hungarian Great Plain. Nevertheless, only little detailed monitoring of water table fluctuations and groundwater uptake (ETgw) were reported under varying hydrologic conditions and vegetation cover. In this study, results of water table monitoring under forest plantations and adjacent corn plots in discharge and recharge regions were analyzed to gain better understanding of the relation of vegetation cover to groundwater uptake. A poplar (Populus tremula) plantation and adjacent corn field plot were surveyed in a local discharge area, while a black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) plantation and adjacent corn field plot were analyzed in a recharge area. The water table under the poplar plantation displayed a night-time recovery in the discharge region, indicating significant groundwater supply. In this case an empirical version of the water table fluctuation method was used for calculating the ETgw that included the groundwater supply. The mean ETgw of the poplar plantation was 3.6 mm day-1, whereas no water table fluctuation was observed at the nearby corn plot. Naturally, the root system of the poplar was able to tap the groundwater in depths of 3.0-3.3 m while the shallower roots of the corn did not reach the groundwater reservoir in depths of 2.7-2.8 m. In the recharge zone the water table under the black locust plantation showed step-like changes referring to the lack of groundwater supply. The mean ETgw was 0.7 mm day-1 (groundwater depths of 3.0-3.2 m) and similarly no ETgw was detected at the adjacent corn plot with groundwater depths between 3.2 and 3.4 m. The low ETgw of the young black locust plantation was due to the lack of groundwater supply in recharge area, but also the shallow root system might have played a role. Our results suggest that considerations should be given to local estimations of ETgw from water table measurements that could assist to better understanding of groundwater use of varying vegetation types in recharge and discharge zones.


Groundwater, Evapotranspiration, Poplar, Black Locust, Recharge and Discharge Area

Authors’ address

Norbert Móricz
András Szabó
Ervin Rasztovits
Forest Research Institute, National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre, Sárvár (Hungary)
Tibor Tóth
Kitti Balog
Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest (Humgary)
Zoltán Gribovszki
Institute of Geomatics and Civil Engineering, University of West Hungary, Sopron (Hungary)

Corresponding author

Norbert Móricz


Móricz N, Tóth T, Balog K, Szabó A, Rasztovits E, Gribovszki Z (2016). Groundwater uptake of forest and agricultural land covers in regions of recharge and discharge. iForest 9: 696-701. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1864-009

Academic Editor

Tamir Klein

Paper history

Received: Sep 08, 2015
Accepted: Jan 19, 2016

First online: May 17, 2016
Publication Date: Oct 13, 2016
Publication Time: 3.97 months

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