During the passage of precipitation through vegetation, water and solutes are redistributed by plant canopies and the forest floor. Most of the water reaches the soil as throughfall, some as stemflow, and another fraction of the precipitation is captured by the canopy and/or the forest floor and eventually evaporates. Previous studies showed that spatial patterns of throughfall exhibit a pronounced temporal stability in forests. Yet, whether these patterns influence soil moisture patterns in a way that matters for plant growth, soil biota or ground water recharge is currently not well known. Moreover, this variability may lead to significant differences in the volume of solutes that reach the ground in each location, and beyond in the biogeochemical dynamics of soils.
Complex interactions between throughfall-and stemflow- induced spatial patterns and plant induced modifications, e.g. due to root uptake, hydraulic redistribution, and preferential flow, are even less understood. Not surprisingly, the influence of climate, soil, and plant species composition on the interaction between water and solutes influx to the floor and near-surface processes warrants further studies.
In this session we welcome contributions that provide new insights into the various aspects of the redistribution of water and associated solutes in plant canopies and its consequences. Novel field experiments, new analytical approaches, as well as the combination of hydrometric and isotopic methodologies are particularly welcome. Moreover, we invite contributions that present new ideas and data regarding surveying and modelling of throughfall, stemflow, and resulting soil moisture patterns. We would like to call for contributions for all kinds of precipitation such as rain and snow, as well as for atmospheric water such as dew, fog, or rime.
Richard Keim, Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Renewable Natural Resources