Throughfall partitioning by trees
Levia, Delphis F., Kazuki Nanko, Hiromasa Amasaki, Thomas W. Giambelluca, Norifumi Hotta, Shin’ichi Iida, Ryan G. Mudd, Michael A. Nullet, Naoki Sakai, Yoshinori Shinohara, Xinchao Sun, Masakazu Suzuki, Nobuaki Tanaka, Chatchai Tantasirin, and Kozo Yamada
Hydrological Processes 33:1698–1708, https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13432 (2019)
Although we know that rainfall interception (the rain caught, stored, and evaporated from aboveground vegetative surfaces and ground litter) is affected by rain and throughfall drop size, what was unknown until now is the relative proportion of each throughfall type (free throughfall, splash throughfall, canopy drip) beneath coniferous and broadleaved trees. Based on a multinational data set of >120 million throughfall drops, we found that the type, number, and volume of throughfall drops are different between coniferous and broadleaved tree species, leaf states, and timing within rain events. Compared with leafed broadleaved trees, conifers had a lower percentage of canopy drip (51% vs. 69% with respect to total throughfall volume) and slightly smaller diameter splash throughfall and canopy drip. Canopy drip from leafless broadleaved trees consisted of fewer and smaller diameter drops (D50_DR, 50th cumulative drop volume percentile for canopy drip, of 2.24 mm) than leafed broadleaved trees (D50_DR of 4.32 mm). Canopy drip was much larger in diameter under woody drip points (D50_DR of 5.92 mm) than leafed broadleaved trees. Based on throughfall volume, the percentage of canopy drip was significantly different between conifers, leafed broadleaved trees, leafless broadleaved trees, and woody surface drip points (p ranged from <0.001 to 0.005). These findings are partly attributable to differences in canopy structure and plant surface characteristics between plant functional types and canopy state (leaf, leafless), among other factors. Hence, our results demonstrating the importance of drop-size-dependent partitioning between coniferous and broadleaved tree species could be useful to those requiring more detailed information on throughfall fluxes to the forest floor.