Modelling rainfall and canopy controls on net-precipitation beneath selectively-logged tropical forest.

Chappell, Nick A. and Bidin, Kawi and Tych, Wlodek (2001) Modelling rainfall and canopy controls on net-precipitation beneath selectively-logged tropical forest. Plant Ecology, 153 (1-2). pp. 215-229. ISSN 1385-0237

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Understanding spatio-temporal patterns in rainfall received beneath tropical forest is required for eco- hydrological modelling of soil-water status, river behaviour, soil erosion, nutrient loss and wet-canopy evaporation. As selective-logging of tropical forest leaves a very complex mosaic of canopy types, it is likely to add to the spatio-temporal complexity of this sub-canopy or net precipitation. As a precursor to addressing this problem, the analysis presented here will examine the two dominant biophysical controls on sub-canopy precipitation. These controls are: (a) the spatial and temporal patterns in above-canopy or gross rainfall, and (b) the rate of wet-canopy evaporation associated with each type of canopy structure created by selective-forestry. For this study, over 400 raingauges were installed within a 10 km2 area of lowland dipterocarp forest affected by selective-forestry some 9-years prior to this work. Gauges were located beneath various canopy types and within large openings. The spatial distribution of gross rainfall (monitored within the openings) was modelled using variography, while the effects of different canopy types on sub-canopy preciptation was analysed by comparing 6-month totals. The temporal distribution of gross rainfall over an 11-year record collected at the same site (Danum Valley Field Centre) was modelled with Data-Based-Mechanistic (DBM) approaches. These DBM approaches were also applied to the rainfall time-series of the two adjacent meteorological stations; all three gauges being contained within a 5000 km2 region of Eastern Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. Strong diurnal modulation was apparent within gross rainfall for the inland rainforest site, with a distribution consistent with a dominance of local convective rain cells. A similarly strong cycle coincident with the periodicity of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) was present within all of the region's rainfall records, though marked differences in annual and intra-annual seasonality were apparent. The preliminary variogram modelling indicated that a deterministic drift was present within the local-scale gross rainfall data, probably related to local topographic effects. Notwithstanding the need to remove this drift, the work indicated that spatial models of gross rainfall could be identified and used to interpret similar models of net-precipitation. During the ENSO drought-period monitored, the lowland dipterocarp forest allowed 91% of the gross rainfall to reach the ground as throughfall. These rates were, however, reduced to between 80%–86% beneath representative plots of moderately impacted to creeper-covered, highly damaged patches of forest.

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Journal Article
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Plant Ecology
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20 Jan 2009 14:17
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18 Sep 2023 00:08