I have a technical question coming from reading Toen's master course on stacks.

If we view schemes as locally ringed spaces then there we could define a morphism to be surjective if it the underlying morphism of topological spaces is surjective. I believe this is the same as saying that for a morphism $f: X \to Y$ and every $k$-point $Spec k \to Y$ (with k a field) there exists a field extension $Spec l \to Spec k$ and an $l$-point of $X$ $Spec l \to X$ such that $Spec l \to X \to Y = Spec l \to Spec k \to Y$. (I believe one can equivalently work with geometric points, i.e. only with algebraically closed fields) So let's take the latter as a definition of surjective, as it is more natural if we work functorially (and also because it makes sense for arbitrary presheaves on Aff, the category of affine schemes)

Now, Toen uses the etale topology on affine schemes and defines schemes (and more general beasts) as particular sheaves on the etale site. His notion of surjectivity is being an epimorphism of sheaves.

My question is: do these notions coincide? What happens if we take a different topology (like fpqc)?

To be honest, the case I care about the most is when defining atlases, i.e. for $\coprod U_i \to X$, with $U_i$ affine schemes and $U_i \to \coprod_i U_i \to X$ an open immersion (or etale, or smooth, or more generally flat I guess). Nevertheless I would like to understand how much epis of sheaves capture the notion of being surjective for arbitrary morphisms.

EDIT: The most concrete description I know for an epi of sheaves $X \to Y$ is that given any affine $T \to Y$ there exists a covering (etale, or of the chosen topology) $T_i \to T$ such that there exist maps $T_i \to X$ such that $T_i \to T \to Y = T_i \to X \to Y$.

1more comment