Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 429–449

Some observations of turbulence and turbulent transport within and above plant canopies


  • R. H. Shaw
    • Dept. of Land Resource ScienceUniversity of Guelph
  • R. H. Silversides
    • Dept. of Land Resource ScienceUniversity of Guelph
  • G. W. Thurtell
    • Dept. of Land Resource ScienceUniversity of Guelph

DOI: 10.1007/BF00123490

Cite this article as:
Shaw, R.H., Silversides, R.H. & Thurtell, G.W. Boundary-Layer Meteorol (1974) 5: 429. doi:10.1007/BF00123490


Observations have been made of the structure of turbulence and turbulent exchange within plant canopy layers. A new three-dimensional anemometer was used to measure the eddy fluxes of heat and momentum, and the related cospectra, within and above a corn crop and above a red pine forest. Measured values of momentum and heat fluxes, at each height within the corn canopy, were relatively constant proportions of the flux above the canopy, for the period of a day's observation. Extensive regions obeying a −5/3 power relation were found. Isotropy was found above the forest at high frequencies while above and within the corn crop, the ratios of the lateral and vertical spectral densities to the longitudinal component were less than the expected value in the − 5/3 region. In all situations, the vertical velocity spectra were more peaked than a ‘universal’ curve, particularly a vertical velocity spectrum from above the forest. It is suggested that the additional variance results from the mixing caused by the individual roughness elements. As expected, the spectra could not be normalized using the height above the soil surface to calculate a non-dimensional frequency, but scaling heights were estimated by matching the frequencies of the peak of each curve with that of the ‘universal’ curve. Cospectra of uw and wT within the corn canopy were of similar shape and frequency regime, and were basically similar in shape to cospectra above the crop. All of the cospectra were more sharply peaked than ‘universal’ cospectral curves.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1974