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Global distribution of hydrologic controls on forest growth

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Type: Resource
Storage: The size of this resource is 75.7 MB
Created: Aug 25, 2019 at 2:54 p.m.
Last updated: Feb 06, 2024 at 8:29 a.m.
DOI: 10.4211/hs.38ac7dd90c7d4353bb492604981782f0
Citation: See how to cite this resource
Content types: Geographic Raster Content 
Sharing Status: Published
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Vegetation provides key ecosystem services and is an important component in the hydrological cycle. Traditionally, the global distribution of vegetation is explained through climatic water availability. Locally, however, groundwater can aid growth by providing an extra water source (e.g. oases) or hinder growth by presenting a barrier to root expansion (e.g. swamps). In this study we analyse the global correlation between humidity (expressing climate driven water- and energy availability), groundwater and forest growth, approximated by the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation, and link this to climate and landscape position. The results show that at the continental scale, climate is the main driver of forest productivity; climates with higher water availability support higher energy absorption and consequentially more growth. Within all climate zones, however, landscape position substantially alters the growth patterns, both positively and negatively. The influence of the landscape on vegetation growth varies over climate, displaying the importance of analysing vegetation growth in a climate-landscape continuum.

Subject Keywords



Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


The data presented here is described in "Global distribution of hydrologic controls on forest growth":

The code that is used to produce the results can be found on github:

which heavily relies on the 'geomappy' package, in which the correlation algorithms are implemented

Landscape classes HEX

1 Open water and wetland #004dac 2 Lowland #729116 3 Undulating terrain #b1bc1d 4 Hilly #e7de23 5 Low mountainous #af9a15 6 Mountainous #785707 7 High mountainous #fff9f2

Ecohydrological classes HEX

1 Oxygen stress #0080ff 2 Energy limited #4040bf 3 Convergence dominated #800080 4 Rooting space limited #40bfbf 5 Neutral #e6e6e6 6 Convergence driven #bf4040 7 Rooting space driven #80ff80 Precipitation driven 8 Precipitation driven #bfbf40 9 Water limited #ff8000

Data Services

The following web services are available for data contained in this resource. Geospatial Feature and Raster data are made available via Open Geospatial Consortium Web Services. The provided links can be copied and pasted into GIS software to access these data. Multidimensional NetCDF data are made available via a THREDDS Data Server using remote data access protocols such as OPeNDAP. Other data services may be made available in the future to support additional data types.

How to Cite

Roebroek, C. T. J. (2020). Global distribution of hydrologic controls on forest growth, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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