Encyclopedia of Agrophysics

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jan Gliński, Józef Horabik, Jerzy Lipiec

Rainfall Interception by Cultivated Plants

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-3585-1_253


Rainfall interception is a process of retention of rainwater by the plant cover. It is expressed in millimeters of water layer, similar to atmospheric precipitation, or as a percentage value in comparison to precipitation measured over open space. Water retention by abiotic objects (buildings, roots, etc.) is named wetting.


The interception process is one of the phenomena of the hydrological-meteorological sequence in which permanent and periodically cultivated vegetation takes part. The vegetation affects the process of retention of rainwater that is mostly directly returned to the atmosphere through evaporation, and partly absorbed by plants, or flows along plant stems down to the ground. Rainfall interception investigations were concentrated mainly on tree and grass stands, ignoring seasonal crops, because of the significantly longer duration of tree and grass canopies during the annual hydrologic cycle (Savabi and Stott, 1994).

Rainfall interception


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AgrometeorologyUniversity of Life SciencesLublinPoland