Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Michael GavazziGe SunSteve McNulty; E.A Treasure; M.G Wightman
    Date: 2016
    Source: Transactions of the ASABE
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (295.0 KB)


    The area of planted pine in the southern U.S. is predicted to increase by over 70% by 2060, potentially altering the natural hydrologic cycle and water balance at multiple scales. To better account for potential shifts in water yield, land managers and resource planners must accurately quantify water budgets from the stand to the regional scale. The amount of precipitation as rainfall intercepted by forest canopies is an important component of evapotranspiration in forested ecosystems, yet there is little information about intra- and inter-annual canopy interception variability in southern pine plantations. To address this knowledge gap, canopy rainfall interception was measured between 2005 and 2014 in a North Carolina coastal plain loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantation to quantify the range of annual and seasonal variability in interception rates (IRs) as influenced by stand thinning and natural variation in rainfall rates and intensities. Over the study period, biweekly measured canopy IRs averaged 19% across all years, with a range of 14% to 23%. However, at the annual scale, IRs averaged 12% and ranged from 2% to 17%. Thinning resulted in a 5% decrease in rainfall interception, but IRs quickly returned to pre-thin levels. Across years, the amount of annual rainfall intercepted by the canopy averaged 15% of total evapotranspiration, with a range of 2% to 24%. The decade-long data indicate that interannual variability of canopy interception is higher than reported in short-term studies. Local and regional hydrological models must describe the variability of canopy interception to accurately predict the hydrologic impacts of forest management and climate change.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Gavazzi, M.J; Sun, G.; McNulty, S.G.; Treasure, E.A; Wightman, M.G. 2016. Canopy rainfall interception measured over ten years in a coastal plain loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantation. Transactions of the ASABE, Vol. 59(2): 10 pages.: 601-610.DOI 10.13031/trans.59.11101


    Google Scholar


    Canopy interception, Evapotranspiration, Loblolly pine, Pinus taeda, Throughfall.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page