Presentation Title

Chronological Changes in Canopy Hydrometeorological Dynamics May Aid Invasion of a Globally Invasive Species (Ailanthus Altissima Mill. Tree of Heaven)

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Abstract or Description

We examined the effect of a globally-invasive species, Ailanthus altissima, on canopy hydrometeorological processes. Throughfall (TF), stemflow (SF) and interception loss (I) were measured in a chronosequence of three A. altissima stands (planted 1975, 1985, 1995). Canopy structural and ecohydrological parameters varied with age: woody area index (WAI), ratio of wet canopy evaporation and rainfall rates, and stem drainage coefficient increased; while leaf area index (LAI), canopy water storage, and gap fraction declined. This corresponded to increased SF and decreased TF across annual, seasonal, and inter-storm scales. Changes in canopy hydrologic flow paths (TF v. SF) may be advantageous to invasive species as the promotion of SF with canopy age may increase water supply to the roots and help distribute allelopathic chemicals through the soil. Further research is needed on the correlation between canopy architecture of A. altissima invasion and the distribution of water and chemicals to soils.


American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (AGU)


San Francisco, CA