Peer review artikel

The effect of plant size and branch traits on rainfall interception of 10 temperate tree species


“Rainfall interception by vegetation plays an important role in the hydrological cycle. Next to rainfall characteristics, interception is influenced by tree size, crown structure and bark morphology. How tree traits determine interception across functionally and morphologically wide-ranging tree species is poorly understood. We determined interception ratios (interception:gross precipitation) and canopy storage capacities of seven temperate deciduous broadleaved (Acer pseudoplatanus L., Betula pendula Roth, Carpinus betulus L., Fagus sylvatica L., Populus tremula L., Sorbus aucuparia L.) and three evergreen coniferous tree species (Picea abies (L.) Karsten, Pinus sylvestris L., Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) as well as the influence of various tree traits on interception parameters. Interception was measured directly with natural rainfall by means of gravimetry on potted trees, 2–8 m tall, for seven consecutive months. Our results show that (a) the coniferous species had larger canopy storage capacities and larger interception ratios than the broadleaved species both during (summer) and outside the growing season (winter); (b) the absolute tree interception (in kg) of the broadleaved species was positively related to stem diameter at breast height, tree and crown height, maximum branch length, the total branch surface area and above ground dry weight; and (c) interception per unit crown projected area (in mm) of all species was positively related to branch length and branch surface area per unit crown projected area. These results can be used to estimate interception parameters from plant traits and to simulate interception losses of trees in a more reliable manner.”

(Citation: Pflug, S., Voortman, B.R., Cornelissen, J.H.C., Witte, J.P.M. – The effect of plant size and branch traits on rainfall interception of 10 temperate tree species – Ecohydrology (2021)eco.2349 – DOI: 10.1002/eco.2349 – (Open Access))

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