Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
Snowy backgrounds enhance the absorption of visible light in forest canopies
Article first published online: 18 MAR 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 38, Issue 6, March 2011
How to Cite
2011), Snowy backgrounds enhance the absorption of visible light in forest canopies, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L06404, doi:10.1029/2010GL046417., , , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 18 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 18 MAR 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 10 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 8 DEC 2010
 The fraction of radiation absorbed in the canopy depends on the amount and angular distribution of the solar irradiance reaching the top of the canopy as well as the fraction of this irradiance that is transmitted through the canopy gaps and reflected back to the vegetation by the background. This contribution shows that the presence of snow on forest floors enhances the fraction of absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR). A global analysis of satellite-derived products reveals that this enhancement affects evergreen and deciduous forests of the boreal zone. This snow-related effect may usefully contribute to the photosynthesis process in evergreen forests especially during spring time when radiation conditions are marginal but other physiological constraints (such as temperature) permit the necessary biochemical functions to take place.