The hydrology of tropical seasonal wetlands is affected by changes in the land cover. Changes from open water towards a vegetated cover imply an increase in the total evaporation flux, which includes the evaporation from open water bodies and the transpiration from vegetated surfaces. This study quantified the total evaporation flux of six covers of the Palo Verde wetland during dry season. The selected wetland covers were dominated by Neptunia natans (L.f.) Druce, Thalia geniculata L., Typha dominguensis Pers., Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, a mixture of these species, and open water conditions. The plants were collected from the wetland and placed in lysimeters (59.1 L) built from plastic containers. The lysimeters were located in an open area near the meteorological station of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). The evaporated water volume and meteorological data were collected between December 2012–January 2013. A completely randomized design was applied to determine the total evaporation (E), reference evaporation (Eref, Penman-Monteith method) and crop coefficient (Kc) for all the covers. T. geniculata (E: 17.0 mm d−1, Kc: 3.43) and open water (E: 8.2 mm d−1, Kc: 1.65) showed the highest and lowest values respectively, for daily evaporation and crop coefficient. Results from the ANOVA indicate that E. crassipes and N. natans were statistically different (p = 0.05) from T. dominguensis and the species mixture, while the water and T. geniculata showed significant differences with regard to other plant covers. These results indicate that the presence of emergent macrophytes as T. geniculata and T. dominguensis will increase the evaporation flux during dry season more than the floating macrophytes or open water surfaces.
- Costa Rica
- Tempisque river