1. bookVolume 69 (2021): Issue 4 (December 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
28 Mar 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Effect of mature spruce forest on canopy interception in subalpine conditions during three growing seasons

Published Online: 15 Nov 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 69 (2021) - Issue 4 (December 2021)
Page range: 436 - 446
Received: 14 Jul 2021
Accepted: 23 Aug 2021
Journal Details
First Published
28 Mar 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

The interception process in subalpine Norway spruce stands plays an important role in the distribution of throughfall. The natural mountain spruce forest where our measurements of throughfall and gross precipitation were carried out, is located on the tree line at an elevation of 1,420 m a.s.l. in the Western Tatra Mountains (Slovakia, Central Europe). This paper presents an evaluation of the interception process in a natural mature spruce stand during the growing season from May to October in 2018–2020. We also analyzed the daily precipitation events within each growing season and assigned to them individual synoptic types. The amount and distribution of precipitation during the growing season plays an important role in the precipitation-interception process, which confirming the evaluation of individual synoptic situations. During the monitored growing seasons, precipitation was normal (2018), sub-normal (2019) and above-normal (2020) in comparison with long-term precipitation (1988–2017). We recorded the highest precipitation in the normal and above-normal precipitation years during the north-eastern cyclonic synoptic situation (NEc). During these two periods, interception showed the lowest values in the dripping zone at the crown periphery, while in the precipitation sub-normal period (2019), the lowest interception was reached by the canopy gap. In the central crown zone near the stem, interception reached the highest value in each growing season. In the evaluated vegetation periods, interception reached values in the range of 19.6–24.1% of gross precipitation total in the canopy gap, 8.3–22.2% in the dripping zone at the crown periphery and 45.7–51.6% in the central crown zone near the stem. These regimes are expected to change in the Western Tatra Mts., as they have been affected by windstorms and insect outbreaks in recent decades. Under disturbance regimes, changes in interception as well as vegetation, at least for some period of time, are unavoidable.


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