The transfer of water from the surface of the earth into the atmosphere occurs both through evaporation from surfaces and transpiration from plants, combined known as “evapotranspiration”. It is a critical process within the hydrologic cycle – the transformation of water from the liquid to vapor phase cools down the surrounding atmosphere, contributes to cloud formation, and acts as a distillation process creating pure H2O, while transpiration is a key mechanism that moves water and nutrients through plants. Evapotranspiration processes have received considerably less research effort than other aspects of the hydrologic cycle, for example runoff and stream flow.


  • Pauliukonis, N. and R.L. Schneider. 2001. Temporal patterns in evapotranspiration from lysimeters with three common wetland plant species in the eastern United States. Aquatic Botany 71(1): 35-46. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304377001001681
  • Walter, M.T., D.S. Wilks, J-Y. Parlange, and R.L.Schneider. 2004. Increasing evapotranspiration from the conterminous United States. J. Hydrometeorology 5: 405-408. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1525-7541(2004)005<0405:IEFTCU>2.0.CO;2