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The effects of gap size on some microclimate variables during late summer and autumn in a temperate broadleaved deciduous forest.

Abd Latif, Zulkiflee and Blackburn, George Alan (2010) The effects of gap size on some microclimate variables during late summer and autumn in a temperate broadleaved deciduous forest. International Journal of Biometeorology, 54 (2). pp. 119-129. ISSN 0020-7128

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Abstract

The creation of gaps can strongly influence forest regeneration and habitat diversity within forest ecosystems. However, the precise characteristics of such effects depend, to a large extent, upon the way in which gaps modify microclimate and soil water content. Hence, the aim of this study was to understand the effects of gap creation and variations in gap size on forest microclimate and soil water content. The study site, in North West England, was a mixed temperate broadleaved deciduous forest dominated by mature sessile oak (Quercus petraea), beech (Fagus sylvatica) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) with some representatives of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). Solar radiation (I), air temperature (T (A)), soil temperature (T (S)), relative humidity (h), wind speed (v) and soil water content (I) were measured at four natural treefall gaps created after a severe storm in 2006 and adjacent sub-canopy sites. I, T (A), T (S), and I increased significantly with gap size; h was consistently lower in gaps than the sub-canopy but did not vary with gap size, while the variability of v could not be explained by the presence or size of gaps. There were systematic diurnal patterns in all microclimate variables in response to gaps, but no such patterns existed for I. These results further our understanding of the abiotic and consequent biotic responses to gaps in broadleaved deciduous forests created by natural treefalls, and provide a useful basis for evaluating the implications of forest management practices.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Biometeorology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Treefall gap ; Microclimate ; Soil water content ; Broadleaved deciduous forest
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Departments: UNSPECIFIED
ID Code: 34727
Deposited By: Dr GA Blackburn
Deposited On: 09 Dec 2010 09:26
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2014 14:52
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/34727

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