Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (4.3 MB)

Title: Influence of forest canopy and snow on microclimate in a declining yellow-cedar forest of southeast Alaska

Author: Hennon, Paul E.; D'Amore, David V.; Witter, Dustin T.; Lamb, Melinda B.;

Date: 2010

Source: Northwest Science. 84(1): 73-87

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Site factors predispose yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis D. Don (Spach)) to a widespread climate-induced mortality in southeast Alaska. We investigated the influence of canopy cover and snow on microclimate at two small watersheds across a range of declining yellow-cedar stands on Baranof and Chichagof Islands in southeast Alaska. Two measures of canopy cover, derived from hemispherical photography and LIDAR, were correlated at the two sites; both had significant relationships with basal area of live trees on plots. Reduced canopy cover increases soil warming in spring and leads to rapid changes in air temperature. There is also a positive feedback where the loss of tree overstory due to yellow-cedar mortality contributes to open, exposed site conditions. Variable patterns of snow depth in late winter and spring at one of the sites, documented with daily remote photography, were associated with elevation and cover. Dead trees predominate where lethal shallow soil temperatures occurred but not where snow buffers these temperatures because of existing snowpack. Canopy cover estimates, landscape analysis, and snow modeling could provide the components for a regional risk model to identify areas in southeast Alaska that are suitable and unsuitable for future conservation and management of yellow-cedar.

Keywords: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, climate, microclimate, forest decline

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Hennon, P.E.; D'Amore, D.V.; Witter,D.T.; Lamb, M.B. 2010. Influence of forest canopy and snow on microclimate in a declining yellow-cedar forest of southeast Alaska. Northwest Science. 84(1): 73-87.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.