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Stand microclimate and physiological activity of tree leaves in an oak-hornbeam forest

I. Stand microclimate

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Summary

In an uneven-aged, multi-species oak-hornbeam forest at Báb, SW Slovakia (former IBP Forest Research Site), a series of micrometeorological and ecophysiological measurements started in 1985. The aims of the work are to improve understanding of physiological processes (photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration) of adult trees and stand microclimate, to collect data for simulation of the canopy (stand) photosynthesis and for ecological synthesis of the functioning of the forest ecosystem. In this paper, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), air temperature (AT) and relative humidity (RH), wind speed (WS), and CO2 concentration ([CO2]) in and above the forest are characterized for the fully leaved season, using diurnal courses, vertical profiles and isodiagrams (isopleths). Approximately 50% of incident PAR was absorbed by the upper 4–5 m layer of leaves and only approximately 5% or less penetrated to the forest floor. Vertical gradients of AT and RH were generally low, but large differences in diurnal ranges of AT and RH were observed between vertical levels. The upper leaf canopy greatly reduced WS, and at a height of about 14 m above the ground it was close to zero. The highest diurnal [CO2] maximum and variations occurred at 1 m above the ground, and the lowest above the forest. In “good” light conditions in the forest, the entire leaf canopy (overstorey and understorey canopy) is a large sink of CO2. At night the forest stand is a source of CO2, the largest internal source being the soil and forest floor.

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Eliáš, P., Kratochvílová, I., Janouš, D. et al. Stand microclimate and physiological activity of tree leaves in an oak-hornbeam forest. Trees 3, 227–233 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00225356

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Key words

  • Microclimate
  • Photosynthetically active radiation
  • Wind speed
  • Relative humidity