• search hit 10 of 1077
Back to Result List

Predictability of stemflow in a species-rich tropical forest

  • Numerous studies investigated the influence of abiotic (meteorological conditions) and biotic factors (tree characteristics) on stemflow generation. Although these studies identified the variables that influence stemflow volumes in simply structured forests, the combination of tree characteristics that allows a robust prediction of stemflow volumes in species-rich forests is not well known. Many hydrological applications, however, require at least a rough estimate of stemflow volumes based on the characteristics of a forest stand. The need for robust predictions of stemflow motivated us to investigate the relationships between tree characteristics and stemflow volumes in a species-rich tropical forest located in central Panama. Based on a sampling setup consisting of ten rainfall collectors, 300 throughfall samplers and 60 stemflow collectors and cumulated data comprising 26 rain events, we derive three main findings. Firstly, stemflow represents a minor hydrological component in the studied 1-ha forest patch (1.0% of cumulatedNumerous studies investigated the influence of abiotic (meteorological conditions) and biotic factors (tree characteristics) on stemflow generation. Although these studies identified the variables that influence stemflow volumes in simply structured forests, the combination of tree characteristics that allows a robust prediction of stemflow volumes in species-rich forests is not well known. Many hydrological applications, however, require at least a rough estimate of stemflow volumes based on the characteristics of a forest stand. The need for robust predictions of stemflow motivated us to investigate the relationships between tree characteristics and stemflow volumes in a species-rich tropical forest located in central Panama. Based on a sampling setup consisting of ten rainfall collectors, 300 throughfall samplers and 60 stemflow collectors and cumulated data comprising 26 rain events, we derive three main findings. Firstly, stemflow represents a minor hydrological component in the studied 1-ha forest patch (1.0% of cumulated rainfall). Secondly, in the studied species-rich forest, single tree characteristics are only weakly related to stemflow volumes. The influence of multiple tree parameters (e.g. crown diameter, presence of large epiphytes and inclination of branches) and the dependencies among these parameters require a multivariate approach to understand the generation of stemflow. Thirdly, predicting stemflow in species-rich forests based on tree parameters is a difficult task. Although our best model can capture the variation in stemflow to some degree, a critical validation reveals that the model cannot provide robust predictions of stemflow. A reanalysis of data from previous studies in species-rich forests corroborates this finding. Based on these results and considering that for most hydrological applications, stemflow is only one parameter among others to estimate, we advocate using the base model, i.e. the mean of the stemflow data, to quantify stemflow volumes for a given study area. Studies in species-rich forests that wish to obtain predictions of stemflow based on tree parameters probably need to conduct a much more extensive sampling than currently implemented by most studies. Copyright (c) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.show moreshow less

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar Statistics
Metadaten
Author:Alexander Zimmermann, Magdalena Uber, Beate Zimmermann, Delphis F. Levia
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.10554
ISSN:0885-6087 (print)
ISSN:1099-1085 (online)
Parent Title (English):Hydrological processes
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication:Hoboken
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:ecohydrology; multivariate regression; rainfall partitioning; stemflow; tropical lowland rainforest
Volume:29
Issue:23
Pagenumber:10
First Page:4947
Last Page:4956
Funder:German Research Foundation [ZI 1300/1-1]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert