Quantifying rainfall interception loss of a subtropical broadleaved forest in central Taiwan

Yi Ying Chen, Ming Hsu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The factors controlling seasonal rainfall interception loss are investigated by using a double-mass curve analysis, based on direct measurements of high-temporal resolution gross rainfall, throughfall and stemflow from 43 rainfall events that occurred in central Taiwan from April 2008 to April 2009. The canopy water storage capacity for the wet season was estimated to be 1.86 mm, about twice that for the dry season (0.91 mm), likely due to the large reduction in the leaf area index (LAI) from 4.63 to 2.23 (m2-2). Changes in seasonal canopy structure and micro-meteorological conditions resulted in temporal variations in the amount of interception components, and rainfall partitioning into stemflow and throughfall. Wet canopy evaporation after rainfall contributed 41.8% of the wet season interception loss, but only 17.1% of the dry season interception loss. Wet canopy evaporation during rainfall accounted for 82.9% of the dry season interception loss, but only 58.2% of the wet season interception loss. Throughfall accounted for over 79.7% of the dry season precipitation and 76.1% of the wet season precipitation, possibly due to the change in gap fraction from 64.2% in the dry season to 50.0% in the wet season. The reduced canopy cover in the dry season also produced less stemflow than that of the wet season. The rainfall stemflow ratio (Psf/Pg) was reduced from 12.6% to 8.9%. Despite relatively large changes in canopy structure, seasonal variation of the ratio of rainfall partitioned to interception was quite small. Rainfall interception loss accounted for nearly 12% of gross precipitation for both dry and wet seasons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Canopy water storage capacity
  • Rainfall interception
  • Stemflow
  • Throughfall


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