International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 17–22 | Cite as

Sensible and latent heat loss from the body surface of Holstein cows in a tropical environment

  • A. S. C. MaiaEmail author
  • R. G. daSilva
  • C. M. Battiston Loureiro
Original Article


The general principles of the mechanisms of heat transfer are well known, but knowledge of the transition between evaporative and non-evaporative heat loss by Holstein cows in field conditions must be improved, especially for low-latitude environments. With this aim 15 Holstein cows managed in open pasture were observed in a tropical region. The latent heat loss from the body surface of the animals was measured by means of a ventilated capsule, while convective heat transfer was estimated by the theory of convection from a horizontal cylinder and by the long-wave radiation exchange based on the Stefan–Boltzmann law. When the air temperature was between 10 and 36°C the sensible heat transfer varied from 160 to –30 W m−2, while the latent heat loss by cutaneous evaporation increased from 30 to 350 W m−2. Heat loss by cutaneous evaporation accounted for 20–30% of the total heat loss when air temperatures ranged from 10 to 20°C. At air temperatures >30°C cutaneous evaporation becomes the main avenue of heat loss, accounting for approximately 85% of the total heat loss, while the rest is lost by respiratory evaporation.


Thermoregulation Holstein cows Body surface Heat loss Tropical environment 


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Copyright information

© ISB 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. S. C. Maia
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. G. daSilva
    • 1
  • C. M. Battiston Loureiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Bioclimatology, Department of Animal Science, College of Agricultural and Veterinary SciencesSão Paulo State UniversityJaboticabal, São PauloBrazil

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