Effect of canopy openness and meteorological factors on spatial variability of throughfall isotopic composition in a Japanese cypress plantation
Sun, X.; Onda, Y.; Hirata, A.; Kato, H.; Gomi, T.; Liu, X.
Hydrological Processes 32(8): 1038-1049
ISSN/ISBN: 0885-6087 DOI: 10.1002/hyp.11475
Spatial variability of throughfall (TF) isotopic composition, used as tracer input, influences isotope hydrological applications in forested watersheds. Notwithstanding, identification of the dominant canopy factors and processes that affect the patterns of TF isotopic variability remains ambiguous. Here, we examined the spatio-temporal variability of TF isotopic composition in a Japanese cypress plantation, in which intensive strip thinning was performed and investigated whether canopy structure at a fine resolution of canopy effect analysis is related to TF isotopic composition and how this is affected by meteorological factors. Canopy openness, as an index of canopy structure, was calculated from hemispherical photographs at different zenith angles. TF samples were collected in a 10x10m experimental plot in both pre-thinning (from July to November 2010) and post-thinning (from May 2012 to March 2013) periods. Our results show that thinning resulted in a smaller alteration of input O-18 of gross precipitation, whereas the changes in deuterium excess varied in both directions. Despite the temporal stability of spatial patterns in TF amount, the spatial variability of TF isotopic composition was not temporally stable in both pre- and post-thinning periods. Additionally, after thinning, the isotopic composition of TF was best related to canopy openness calculated at the zenith angle of 7 degrees, exhibiting three different relationships, that is, significantly negative, significantly positive, and nonsignificant. Changes in meteorological factors (wind speed, rainfall intensity, and temperature) were found to affect the relationships between TF O-18 and canopy openness. The observed shifts in the relationships reveal different dominant factors (partial evaporation and the selection), and canopy water flowpaths control such differences. This study provides useful insights into the spatial variability of TF isotopic composition and improves our understanding of the physical processes of interception through canopy passage.