Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp 133–163 | Cite as

Vertical Distribution of Radiation and Energy Balance Partitioning Within and Above a Lodgepole Pine Stand Recovering from a Recent Insect Attack

  • Carmen EmmelEmail author
  • Eugenie Paul-Limoges
  • Thomas Andrew Black
  • Andreas Christen


The current outbreak of mountain pine beetle (MPB) that started in the late 1990s in British Columbia, Canada, is the largest ever recorded in the north American native habitat of the beetle. The killing of trees is expected to change the vertical distribution of net radiation (\(Q^*\)) and the partitioning of latent (\(Q_\mathrm{E}\)) and sensible (\(Q_\mathrm{H}\)) heat fluxes in the different layers of an attacked forest canopy. During an intensive observation period in the summer of 2010, eddy-covariance flux and radiation measurements were made at seven heights from ground level up to 1.34 times the canopy height in an MPB-attacked open-canopy forest stand \((\hbox {leaf area index} = 0.55~\mathrm{{m}}^{2}\ \mathrm{{m}}^{-2})\) in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. The lodgepole pine dominated stand with a rich secondary structure (trees and understorey not killed by the beetle) was first attacked by the MPB in 2003 and received no management. In this study, the vertical distribution of the energy balance components and their sources and sinks were analyzed and energy balance closure (EBC) was determined for various levels within the canopy. The low stand density resulted in approximately 60 % of the shortwave irradiance and 50 % of the daily total \(Q^*\) reaching the ground. Flux divergence calculations indicated relatively strong sources of latent heat at the ground and where the secondary structure was located. Only very weak sources of latent heat were found in the upper part of the canopy, which was mainly occupied by dead lodgepole pine trees. \(Q_\mathrm{H}\) was the dominant term throughout the canopy, and the Bowen ratio (\(Q_\mathrm{H}/Q_\mathrm{E}\)) increased with height in the canopy. Soil heat flux (\(Q_\mathrm{G}\)) accounted for approximately 4 % of \(Q^*\). Sensible heat storage in the air (\(\Delta Q_\mathrm{S,H}\)) was the largest of the energy balance storage components in the upper canopy during daytime, while in the lower canopy sensible heat storage in the boles (\(\Delta Q_\mathrm{S,B}\)) and biochemical energy storage (\(\Delta Q_\mathrm{S,C}\)) were the largest terms. \(\Delta Q_\mathrm{S,H}\) was almost constant from the bottom to above the canopy. \(\Delta Q_\mathrm{S,C}\), \(\Delta Q_\mathrm{S,B}\) and latent heat storage in the air (\(\Delta Q_\mathrm{S,E}\)) varied more than \(\Delta Q_\mathrm{S,H}\) throughout the canopy. During daytime, energy balance closure was high in and above the upper canopy, and in the lowest canopy level. However, where the secondary structure was most abundant, \({\textit{EBC}} \le 66\,\%\). During nighttime, the storage terms together with \(Q_\mathrm{G}\) made up the largest part of the energy balance, while \(Q_\mathrm{H}\) and \(Q_\mathrm{E}\) were relatively small. These radiation and energy balance measurements in an insect-attacked forest highlight the role of secondary structure in the recovery of attacked stands.


Energy balance Mountain pine beetle Radiation balance Secondary structure Sparse canopy Turbulent heat fluxes 



This project was funded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada through NSERC STPGP 365247 (2008, Black) and NSERC DG 342029 (2007, Christen). Instrumentation was supported by NSERC RTI 344541 (2007, Christen) and selected instruments were kindly made available by Prof. Andrea Pitacco (Univ. di Padova, Italy). We greatly appreciate the technical assistance in the field and lab provided by Rick Ketler, Zoran Nesic, Dominic Lessard and Andrew Hum. Thanks also to Ben Crawford and Eli Heyman for their assistance during the set-up and take-down, to Kate Liss and Adrian Leitch for assisting in the instrument calibrations and comparisons, to Art Fredeen and Rebecca Bowler (Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC) for providing lab space and technical support, to Nicholas Coops and Thomas Hilker for providing leaf area index data derived from lidar and to Tony Trofymow for the NFI data. We acknowledge Eric Leinberger for drawing the figures.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Emmel
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eugenie Paul-Limoges
    • 1
    • 3
  • Thomas Andrew Black
    • 3
  • Andreas Christen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric SciencesThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Land and Food SystemsThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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