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Solar radiation transmittance of a boreal balsam fir canopy: Spatiotemporal variability and impacts on growing season hydrology.

Isabelle, Pierre-Erik; Nadeau, Daniel F.; Asselin, Marie-Hélène; Harvey, Richard; Musselman, Keith N.; Rousseau, Alain N.; Anctil, François (2018). Solar radiation transmittance of a boreal balsam fir canopy: Spatiotemporal variability and impacts on growing season hydrology. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology , vol. 263 . p. 1-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.07.022.

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Résumé

Forest canopies act as permeable barriers between the atmosphere and the ground, reflecting and absorbing solar radiation. In the boreal forest, the large number of gaps and heterogeneities further complicates these processes. Several studies have adequately measured and modeled the transmittance of solar radiation through forest canopies in western North America and Scandinavia, but few have addressed those of Eastern North America. Furthermore, most of these studies have assessed the effects of solar radiation transmittance on snowpack energetics, but few have focused on the hydrological impacts during the growing season. This paper addresses this knowledge gap with precise measurements of sub-canopy solar radiation in a juvenile balsam fir forest located in the Montmorency Forest, Quebec, Canada. Twenty (20) sub-canopy stations were deployed in a 200 m by 150 m gridded box around a flux tower measuring above canopy radiation and eddy covariance fluxes during late summer and early fall 2016. Results show that the heterogeneous forest has substantial spatial variability of transmittance, with site-specific seasonal averages ranging between 0.07 and 0.69. Canopy gaps of size relative to tree height (H) between 0.1H and H had a temporal influence on solar radiation transmittance in canopy gaps at the sub-daily scale, but do not influence seasonal trends. This is attributed to very frequent cloudiness at the site, which renders the solar radiation mostly diffuse. As a result, a Beer-Lambert extinction law proved adequate at modeling site-specific or spatially averaged transmittance on a seasonal basis. We complement the observations by modeling canopy and soil moisture balances at 20 sites using the Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS). The modeling results exhibit the following trend: a thicker (thinner) vegetation leads to more (less) evapotranspiration, because there is more (less) evaporation of intercepted precipitation and more (less) transpiration, but less (more) ground evaporation. During drier periods, the latter leads to wetter soil conditions for the thicker vegetation. These modeling results of sensitivity to vegetation density, while informative, still need to be confirmed with observations.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: solar radiation transmittance; boreal forest; in situ measurements; Canadian land surface scheme; evapotranspiration; soil moisture
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 28 nov. 2018 16:14
Dernière modification: 28 nov. 2018 16:14
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/7739

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