Current issue: 56(4)
The tree canopy adsorbs part of the rainfall falling on a forest, therefore only part of it reaches the soil. This report presents results concerning interception of precipitation and groundwater level in forests of varying canopy cover. The study belongs to a larger survey on afforestation of drained treeless bogs. The rainfall was measured daily in the open fields and in the adjacent forests. The forests, mainly Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) dominated, were divided by the canopy cover into five classes from over dense to sparsely stocked.
The results show that in a dense, tall Norway spruce stand, light rainfall can almost entirely be adsorbed by the canopy. The heavier the rainfall, the larger proportion of it reaches the ground. Only 30% of a 5 mm rainfall reaches the ground, while 80% of a 20 mm rainfall reaches the ground. Interception of precipitation decreases gradually when the density of the forest decreases. Canopy of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and birch (Betula sp.) stands of corresponding density adsorb less rainfall than Norway spruce canopy. Groundwater level was higher in treeless areas than in areas covered with forest. Widescale clear cuttings should, therefore, be considered carefully in forest areas that are prone to become peaty.