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Incident rainfall partitioning and canopy interception modeling for an abandoned Japanese cypress stand


Interception loss (E i) in forests has been studied widely. However, E i parameters and modeling as well as spatial patterns of throughfall (TF) in abandoned Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) plantations remain poorly documented. In this study, gross precipitation (P G), stemflow (SF), and TF were monitored in an unmanaged 32-year-old Japanese cypress stand throughout the 2011 rainy season. Results indicate that P G partitioning into TF, SF, and E i were, respectively, 64.2 ± 3.6, 10.6 ± 0.6, and 25.2 ± 1.1 % of the 880.8 mm cumulative P G from 29 rainfall events. Direct throughfall proportion (p) and drainage from the canopy contributed about 14 ± 7 and 50 ± 21 % of the total TF for the events, respectively. The mean canopy storage capacity (S) was 2.4 ± 0.7 mm. The coefficient of variability (CV) of TF rate decreased asymptotically with increasing P G amount, ranging from 16 to 56 % with median 26 %. The CV of TF rate was not significantly correlated with canopy cover (r = 0.152, P = 0.521, n = 20) and distance from the nearest trunk (r = 0.196, P = 0.408, n = 20). Based on the revised Gash analytical model, the total simulated E i was close to the observed, with a general underestimation magnitude of 5.7 %. The E i components were quantified, and most of the interception loss (62.9 %) evaporated during rainfall, while 26.8 % evaporated after rainfall ceased. Climatic and forest structural parameters required by the model were identified and analyzed by sensitivity analysis, implying that the revised Gash analytical model is robust and reliable enough for abandoned Japanese cypress plantations in a maritime climate.

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This study was the part of the Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) research project “Improving River Environment by the Management Practice of Devastated Forest Plantation”. We are grateful to Dr. Jeremy Patin, Dr. Mengistu T. Teramage, and Dr. Cristobal Padilla (University of Tsukuba) for their fruitful comments that improved the quality of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Xinchao Sun.

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Sun, X., Onda, Y. & Kato, H. Incident rainfall partitioning and canopy interception modeling for an abandoned Japanese cypress stand. J For Res 19, 317–328 (2014).

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  • Canopy storage
  • Chamaecyparis obtusa
  • Interception loss
  • Revised Gash analytical model
  • Throughfall spatial variation