This article needs additional citations for verification .(January 2013)
In Hydrology, throughfall is the process which describes how wet leaves shed excess water onto the ground surface. These drops have greater erosive power because they are heavier than rain drops. Furthermore, where there is a high canopy, falling drops may reach terminal velocity, about 8 metres (26 ft), thus maximizing the drop's erosive potential.
Rates of throughfall are higher in areas of forest where the leaves are broad-leaved. This is because the flat leaves allow water to collect. Drip-tips also facilitate throughfall. Rates of throughfall are lower in coniferous forests as conifers can only hold individual droplets of water on their needles.
Throughfall is a crucial process when designing pesticides for foliar application since it will condition their washing and the fate of potential pollutants in the environment.
In earth science, erosion is the action of surface processes that removes soil, rock, or dissolved material from one location on the Earth's crust, and then transports it to another location. Erosion is distinct from weathering which involves no movement. Removal of rock or soil as clastic sediment is referred to as physical or mechanical erosion; this contrasts with chemical erosion, where soil or rock material is removed from an area by dissolution. Eroded sediment or solutes may be transported just a few millimetres, or for thousands of kilometres.
Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy, moisture-dependent vegetation, the presence of epiphytes and lianas and the absence of wildfire. Rainforest can be classified as tropical rainforest or temperate rainforest, but other types have been described.
Soil erosion is the displacement of the upper layer of soil; it is a form of soil degradation. This natural process is caused by the dynamic activity of erosive agents, that is, water, ice (glaciers), snow, air (wind), plants, animals, and humans. In accordance with these agents, erosion is sometimes divided into water erosion, glacial erosion, snow erosion, wind (aeolean) erosion, zoogenic erosion and anthropogenic erosion such as tillage erosion. Soil erosion may be a slow process that continues relatively unnoticed, or it may occur at an alarming rate causing a serious loss of topsoil. The loss of soil from farmland may be reflected in reduced crop production potential, lower surface water quality, and damaged drainage networks. Soil erosion could also cause sinkholes.
Evapotranspiration (ET) is the sum of water evaporation and transpiration from a surface area to the atmosphere. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water to the air from sources such as the soil, canopy interception, and water bodies. Transpiration accounts for the movement of water within a plant and the subsequent exit of water as vapor through stomata in its leaves in vascular plants and phyllids in non-vascular plants. A plant that contributes to evapotranspiration is called an evapotranspirator. Evapotranspiration is an important part of the water cycle.
Tropical rainforests are rainforests that occur in areas of tropical rainforest climate in which there is no dry season – all months have an average precipitation of at least 60 mm – and may also be referred to as lowland equatorial evergreen rainforest. True rainforests are typically found between 10 degrees north and south of the equator ; they are a sub-set of the tropical forest biome that occurs roughly within the 28-degree latitudes. Within the World Wildlife Fund's biome classification, tropical rainforests are a type of tropical moist broadleaf forest that also includes the more extensive seasonal tropical forests.
Ecohydrology is an interdisciplinary scientific field studying the interactions between water and ecological systems. It is considered a sub discipline of hydrology, with an ecological focus. These interactions may take place within water bodies, such as rivers and lakes, or on land, in forests, deserts, and other terrestrial ecosystems. Areas of research in ecohydrology include transpiration and plant water use, adaption of organisms to their water environment, influence of vegetation and benthic plants on stream flow and function, and feedbacks between ecological processes and the hydrological cycle.
Forest ecology is the scientific study of the interrelated patterns, processes, flora, fauna and ecosystems in forests. The management of forests is known as forestry, silviculture, and forest management. A forest ecosystem is a natural woodland unit consisting of all plants, animals, and micro-organisms in that area functioning together with all of the non-living physical (abiotic) factors of the environment.
Leaf area index (LAI) is a dimensionless quantity that characterizes plant canopies. It is defined as the one-sided green leaf area per unit ground surface area in broadleaf canopies. In conifers, three definitions for LAI have been used:
Interception refers to precipitation that does not reach the soil, but is instead intercepted by the leaves, branches of plants and the forest floor. It occurs in the canopy, and in the forest floor or litter layer. Because of evaporation, interception of liquid water generally leads to loss of that precipitation for the drainage basin, except for cases such as fog interception, but increase flood protection dramatically, Alila et al., (2009).
Surface runoff is the flow of water occurring on the ground surface when excess rainwater, stormwater, meltwater, or other sources, can no longer sufficiently rapidly infiltrate in the soil. This can occur when the soil is saturated by water to its full capacity, and that the rain arrives more quickly than the soil can absorb it. Surface runoff often occurs because impervious areas do not allow water to soak into the ground. Furthermore, runoff can occur either through natural or man-made processes. Surface runoff is a major component of the water cycle. It is the primary agent of soil erosion by water. The land area producing runoff that drains to a common point is called a drainage basin.
In hydrology, stemflow is the flow of intercepted water down the trunk or stem of a plant. Stemflow, along with throughfall, is responsible for the transferral of precipitation and nutrients from the canopy to the soil. In tropical rainforests, where this kind of flow can be substantial, erosion gullies can form at the base of the trunk. However, in more temperate climates stemflow levels are low and have little erosional power.
Millettia pinnata is a species of tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, native to eastern and tropical Asia, Australia, and Pacific islands. It is often known by the synonym Pongamia pinnata. Its common names include Indian beech and Pongame oiltree.
Transpiration is the process of water movement through a plant and its evaporation from aerial parts, such as leaves, stems and flowers. Water is necessary for plants but only a small amount of water taken up by the roots is used for growth and metabolism. The remaining 97–99.5% is lost by transpiration and guttation. Leaf surfaces are dotted with pores called stomata, and in most plants they are more numerous on the undersides of the foliage. The stomata are bordered by guard cells and their stomatal accessory cells that open and close the pore. Transpiration occurs through the stomatal apertures, and can be thought of as a necessary "cost" associated with the opening of the stomata to allow the diffusion of carbon dioxide gas from the air for photosynthesis. Transpiration also cools plants, changes osmotic pressure of cells, and enables mass flow of mineral nutrients and water from roots to shoots. Two major factors influence the rate of water flow from the soil to the roots: the hydraulic conductivity of the soil and the magnitude of the pressure gradient through the soil. Both of these factors influence the rate of bulk flow of water moving from the roots to the stomatal pores in the leaves via the xylem.
Litterfall, plant litter, leaf litter, tree litter, soil litter, or duff, is dead plant material that have fallen to the ground. This detritus or dead organic material and its constituent nutrients are added to the top layer of soil, commonly known as the litter layer or O horizon. Litter is an important factor in ecosystem dynamics, as it is indicative of ecological productivity and may be useful in predicting regional nutrient cycling and soil fertility.
Simarouba amara is a species of tree in the family Simaroubaceae, found in the rainforests and savannahs of South and Central America and the Caribbean. It was first described by Aubl. in French Guiana in 1775 and is one of six species of Simarouba. The tree is evergreen, but produces a new set of leaves once a year. It requires relatively high levels of light to grow and grows rapidly in these conditions, but lives for a relatively short time. In Panama, it flowers during the dry season in February and March, whereas in Costa Rica, where there is no dry season it flowers later, between March and July. As the species is dioecious, the trees are either male or female and only produce male or female flowers. The small yellow flowers are thought to be pollinated by insects, the resulting fruits are dispersed by animals including monkeys, birds and fruit-eating bats and the seeds are also dispersed by leaf cutter ants.
By definition, stomatal conductance, usually measured in mmol m⁻² s⁻¹, conditions the net molar flux of carbon dioxide (CO2) entering or water vapor exiting the through the stomata of a leaf, for a given concentration difference of CO2 or water vapor between the atmosphere and the sub-stomatal cavity. The so conditioned molar fluxes are for CO2 the net CO2 assimilation rate and for water vapour the transpiration rate.
Forest floor interception is the part of the (net) precipitation or throughfall that is temporarily stored in the top layer of the forest floor and successively evaporated within a few hours or days during and after the rainfall event. The forest floor can consist of bare soil, short vegetation or litter.
Blue carbon is carbon sequestration by the world's oceanic and coastal ecosystems, mostly by algae, seagrasses, macroalgae, mangroves, salt marshes and other plants in coastal wetlands. This occurs through plant growth and the accumulation and burial of organic matter in the soil. Because oceans cover 70% of the planet, ocean ecosystem restoration has the greatest blue carbon development potential. Research is ongoing, but in some cases it has been found that these types of ecosystems remove far more carbon than terrestrial forests, and store it for millennia.
Bull Creek is the largest Eel River tributary drainage basin preserved within Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The basin contains the world's largest remaining contiguous old-growth forest of coast redwoods. Bull Creek flows in a clockwise semi-circle around 3373-foot (1028-meter) Grasshopper Mountain to enter the South Fork Eel River approximately 1.5 miles (2.5 km) upstream of the South Fork confluence with the Eel River.
River incision is the narrow erosion caused by a river or stream that is far from its base level. River incision is common after tectonic uplift of the landscape. Incision by multiple rivers result in a dissected landscape, for example a dissected plateau. River incision is the natural process by which a river cuts downward into its bed, deepening the active channel. Though it is a natural process, it can be accelerated rapidly by human factors including land use changes such as timber harvest, mining, agriculture, and road and dam construction. The rate of incision is a function of basal shear-stress. Shear stress is increased by factors such as sediment in the water, which increase its density. Shear stress is proportional to water mass, gravity, and WSS: