Oecologia

, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 43–48 | Cite as

Radiation frost susceptibility and the association between sky exposure and leaf size

  • Dean N. Jordan
  • William K. Smith
Original Paper

Abstract

Plants growing in exposed and sheltered habitats have characteristic leaf structure and physiology that are traditionally associated with the total amount of incident sunlight. However, greater sky exposure also increases the susceptibility of leaves to radiation frost. Plants with large horizontal broadleaves are particularly susceptible to both overheating during the day and freezing at night. Moreover, the combined effects of high daytime sun-exposure and nighttime frost susceptibility could be particularly stressful to plant tissues. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of elevation and microsite exposure (i.e. net loss of longwave radiation) on frost susceptibility, as well as the corresponding intraspecific variation in leaf size in the subalpine daisy (Erigeron peregrinus). Measured decreases in upper hemisphere infrared radiation (sky IR) of 0.014 W m-2 m-1 occurred with increasing elevation, beyond decreases predicted due to changes in air temperature and water content, resulting in an average decrease of 0.029 W m-2 m-1. Previous equations of sky IR based on air temperature and humidity were improved by adding this elevational term (r2 improved from 0.52 to 0.71). In contrast, a mean decrease of 6.5 W m-2 m-1 occurred with increasing sky exposure across a subalpine meadow. Leaf size in Taraxacum officinale decreased linearly with increasing elevation and a corresponding decline in sky IR. No difference in daily solar irradiance was measured across the same elevational gradient. Also, E. peregrinus had smaller leaves at high elevation microsites with greater sky exposure and decreased sky IR, while there was a much weaker association between leaf size and the amount of total daily solar irradiance. Differences in plant leaf structure and physiology traditionally associated with daytime sun-exposure may also be influenced by nighttime sky exposure and the susceptibility to radiation frosts.

Key words

Sky infrared radiation Erigeron peregrinus Taraxacum officinale 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aase JK, Idso SB (1978) A comparison of two formula types for calculating longwave radiation from the atmosphere. Water Resour Res 14: 623–625Google Scholar
  2. Ångström A (1915) A study of the radiation of the atmosphere. Smithson Misc Collect 65: 159Google Scholar
  3. Billings WD (1969) Vegetational pattern near timberline as affected by fire-snowdrift interactions. Vegetatio 19: 192–207Google Scholar
  4. Brunt D (1932) Notes on radiation in the atmosphere. Q J R Meteorol Soc 58: 389–418Google Scholar
  5. Brutsaert W (1975) On a derivable formula for long-wave radiation from clear skies. Water Resour Res 11: 742–744Google Scholar
  6. Chazdon RL, Field CB (1987) Photographic estimation of photosynthetically active radiation: evaluation of a computerized technique. Oecologia 73: 525–532Google Scholar
  7. Eastham J, Rose CW (1988) Pasture evapotranspiration under varying tree planting density in an agroforestry experiment. Agric Water Manage 15: 87–105Google Scholar
  8. Gates DM (1980) Biophysical ecology. Springer, New York Berlin HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  9. Holopainen JK (1990) The relationship between multiple leaders and mechanical and frost damage to the apical meristem of Scots pine seedlings. Can J For Res 20: 280–284Google Scholar
  10. Idso SB (1972) Systematic deviations of clear sky atmospheric thermal radiation from predictions of empirical formulae. Q J R Meteorol Soc 98: 399–401Google Scholar
  11. Idso SB (1981) A set of equations for full spectrum and 8–14 μm and 10.5–12.5 μm thermal radiation from cloudless skies. Water Resour Res 17: 295–304Google Scholar
  12. Jordan DN, Smith WK (1994) Energy balance analysis of night-time leaf temperatures and frost formation in a subalpine environment. Agric For Meteorol 71: 359–372Google Scholar
  13. Kimball BA, Idso SB, Aase JK (1982) A model of thermal radiation from partly cloudy and overcast skies. Water Resour Res 18: 931–936Google Scholar
  14. Leuning R (1988) Leaf temperatures during radiation frost. II. A steady state theory. Agric For Meteorol 42: 135–155Google Scholar
  15. Leuning R, Cremer KW (1988) Leaf temperatures during radiation frost. I. Observations. Agric For Meteorol 42: 121–133Google Scholar
  16. Lu SL, Rieger M, Duemmel MJ (1992) Flower orientation influences ovary temperature during frost in peach. Agric For Meteorol 60: 181–191Google Scholar
  17. Lundmark T, Hällgren JE, Heden J (1988) Recovery from winter depression of photosynthesis in pine and spruce. Trees 2: 110–114Google Scholar
  18. Nelson BE (1984) Vascular plants of the Medicine Bow Mountains. Jelm Mountain Press, LaramieGoogle Scholar
  19. Oke TR, Fuggle RF (1972) Comparison of urban/rural counter and net radiation at night. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 2: 290–308Google Scholar
  20. Paton DM (1988) Genesis of an inverted treeline associated with a frost hollow in South-eastern Australia. Aust J Bot 36: 655–663Google Scholar
  21. Percival NS, Hawke MF, Andrew BL (1984) Preliminary report on climate measurements under radiata pine planted on farmland. In: Bilbrough GW (ed) Proc Tech Workshop Agroforestry, Dunedin, N.Z. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, pp 57–60Google Scholar
  22. Raitio H (1987) Site elevation differences in frost damage to Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). For Ecol Manage 20: 299–306Google Scholar
  23. Ramanathan V, Cess RD, Harrison EF, Minnis P, Barkstrom BR, Ahmad E, Hartman D (1989) Cloud-radiative forcing and climate: results from the earth radiation budget experiment. Science 243: 57–63Google Scholar
  24. Sakai A, Larcher W (1987) Frost survival of plants. Responses and adaptation to freezing stress. (Ecological studies, vol 62) Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Smith WK (1978) Leaf temperatures of desert plants: another perspective on the adaptability of leaf size. Science 201: 614–616Google Scholar
  26. Swinbank WC (1963) Long-wave radiation from clear skies. Q J R Meteorol Soc 89: 339–348Google Scholar
  27. Taylor SE (1975) Optimal leaf form. In: Gates DM, Schmerl RB (eds) Perspectives of biophysical ecology. Springer, New York Berlin Heidelberg p 609Google Scholar
  28. Ye ZJ, Segal M, Garratt JR, Pielke RA (1989) On the impact of cloudiness on the characteristics of nocturnal downslope flows. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 49: 23–51Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dean N. Jordan
    • 1
  • William K. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

Personalised recommendations