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Thomas Holst


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Microclimate within beech stands – Part II: Thermal conditions


  • Thomas Holst
  • Helmut Mayer
  • Dirk Schindler

Summary, in English

Within the framework of an interdisciplinary project on the effects of climate and forest management on beech-dominated deciduous forests (Swabian Jura, south-western Germany), forest meteorological investigations are carried out to analyse the influences of exposure and canopy density on the microclimate within various beech stands (Fagus sylvatica L.). This second paper of the series ‘‘Microclimate within beech stands’’

focuses on the thermal conditions that exist mainly in

the near-surface layer at different test plots. They were

analysed by air temperature, Ta, (at 1.5 m a.g.l) and soil

temperature, Ts, at six depths measured continuously in

the period 1999–2003. The main results can be summarized

as follows. (1) The thermal situation within the

beech stands described by Ta depended primarily on the

turbulent air-mass exchange conditions which were

based on the slope-specific energy balance of the forest

floor and advective heat fluxes. (2) The thermal situation

within the soil described by Ts at 3 and 20 cm depth was

governed by the molecular heat transport. Therefore, the

heating and cooling rates of Ts were always lower than

for Ta. Higher Ta and Ts values for the test plots on the

SW slope showed that the thermal conditions within the

beech stands depended primarily on the exposure. (3)

Based on slope-specific differences of daily extremes of

Ta and Ts at 3 cm depth between the silviculturally

treated and control plots, the influence of the more

pronounced height growth of the understorey vegetation

under the near-surface thermal conditions could be

clearly verified for the NE slope.


  • Physical Geography


  • Fagus sylvatica L. & Air temperature & Soiltemperature & Exposure & Canopy density & SouthwesternGermany




  • ISSN: 1612-4669