Aspen Bibliography


Sustainability of the western Canadian boreal forest under changing hydrological conditions. II. Summer energy and water use

Document Type

Contribution to Book


Proceedings of an international symposium of the Fifth Scientific Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS): Sustainability of water resources under increasing uncertainty. Rabat Morocco, 23 April to 3 May 1997

Publication Date



The partitioning of energy in various natural and disturbed stands in the Canadian boreal forest is documented. A comparison of the energy balance, évapotranspiration and surface heating indicates that conifer canopies absorb the greatest solar radiation and produce the most évapotranspiration. The recent clear-cuts produced the lowest evaporation and the greatest heating, with surface temperatures exceeding those at other sites by as much as 15°C at mid- day. Midday surface temperatures in clearings often exceeded the critical wilting point temperatures for spruce seedlings. Satellite-derived indices demonstrate varying degrees of water and energy management by forest stands as they regenerate after cutting. The implications of these findings for under- standing the prospects for regeneration of stands after a disturbance and for the sustainability of the boreal forest in conditions of changing climate are demonstrated.