, Volume 136, Issue 3, pp 391-405
Date: 11 Jun 2010

Influence of Source/Sink Distributions on Flux–Gradient Relationships in the Roughness Sublayer Over an Open Forest Canopy Under Unstable Conditions

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The flux–gradient relationships in the unstable roughness sublayer (RSL) over an open canopy of black spruce forest were examined using long-term observations from an instrumented tower. The observed gradients normalised with the surface fluxes and height above the zero-plane displacement showed differences from a universal function established in the surface layer. The magnitude of differences was not constant throughout the year even at the same observation height. Also the magnitude of the differences was different for each scalar, and scalar similarity in the context of the flux–gradient relationship did not always hold. The variation of the differences was explained by the relative contribution of overstorey vegetation to the total flux from the entire ecosystem. This suggests that a mismatch of the vertical source/sink distributions between scalars leads to a different strength of the near-field dispersion effect for each scalar, and this resulted in inequality of eddy diffusivity among scalars in the RSL. An empirical method that predicts the magnitude of differences is proposed. With this method, it is possible to estimate the eddy diffusivity of scalars provided that the relative contribution of overstorey vegetation to the total flux from the ecosystem is known. Also this method can be used to estimate the eddy diffusivity for scalars whose primary sources are at ground level, such as methane and nitrous oxide.