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Net Precipitation under a Douglas-Fir Forest

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Under dense stands of old-growth Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and associated species typical of Douglas-fir forests of western Oregon and Washington, throughfall averaged 76 percent of gross summer precipitation. Throughfall varied with storm size from near 0 percent in storms under 0.05 inch to about 82 percent in storms over 3 inches. Density of old-growth stands, which ranged from 75 percent to 92 percent, had some influence on interception. However, since estimates of density are not generally available, a relationship based on storm size was determined to be more useful. A linear relation, which fits the data best, explained 96 percent of the variation in throughfall in summer months. Throughfall in winter months increased to an average of about 86.3 percent. A precise relationship with storm size was not determined, but in storms producing 8 inches or more gross precipitation, throughfall was estimated to approach 96 percent. Stemflow was relatively unimportant for nearly all species. Weighted average stemflow measured in the 1959-60 water year was only slightly more than 0.27 percent of the total precipitation.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Project leader, watershed management research, Pacific Northwest Forest and Rge. Expt. Sta., Forest Service, U.S. Dept. Agric.

Publication date: 1963-12-01

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  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
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