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Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Effects of tree morphometry on net snow cover radiation on forest floor for varying vegetation densities

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Abstract

[1] Using a forest radiation model, this paper explores the effects of tree morphometric parameters and shape on net snow cover radiation on the forest floor. Results show that tree shape, height and crown size and density have significant effects on the amount of radiation on forest floor and its variation with vegetation density. In clear sky conditions, where net radiation frequently shows a nonmonotonic decreasing then increasing trend with increasing vegetation density, a smaller radiation minimum is obtained for taller trees, larger and denser crowns, and cylindrical-shaped crowns. The obtained radiation minimum is also expressed at a smaller vegetation density for these tree configurations. In contrast, trees with smaller crown dimensions show propensity for a monotonically decreasing trend in net radiation with increasing vegetation density. The sensitivity to tree morphometric parameters, especially tree height and crown width and density, on forest floor radiation are however relatively modest for interspersed cloudy conditions. The results will facilitate identification of forest management strategies to minimize or maximize net radiation in snow-dominated forested watersheds and will allow intercomparison of snowmelt rates between forests with different vegetation densities and morphological characteristics.

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