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 (0 bytes)

Title: The role of pre-event canopy storage in throughfall and stemflow by using isotopic tracers

Author: Allen, S.T.; Brooks, J.R.; Keim, R.F.; Bond, B.J.; McDonnell, J.J.;

Date: 2014

Source: Ecohydrology

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Stable isotopes can be a valuable tool for tracing the redistribution, storage, and evaporation of water associated with canopy interception of rainfall. Isotopic differences between throughfall and rainfall have been attributed to three mechanisms: evaporative fractionation, isotopic exchange with ambient vapor, and temporal redistribution. We demonstrate the potential importance of a fourth mechanism: rainfall mixing with water retained within the canopy (in bark, epiphytes, etc.) from prior rain events. Amount and isotopic composition (18O and 2H) of rainfall and throughfall were measured over a 3-month period in a Douglas-fir forest in the Cascade Range of Oregon, USA. The range of spatial variability of throughfall isotopic composition exceeded the differences between event-mean isotopic compositions of rainfall and throughfall. Inter-event isotopic variation of precipitation was high and correlated with the isotopic deviation of throughfall from rainfall, likely related to a high canopy/bark storage capacity storage bridging events. Both spatial variability of throughfall isotopic composition and throughfall–precipitation isotopic differences appear to have been controlled by the temporally varying influence of residual precipitation from previous events. Therefore, isotopic heterogeneity could indicate local storage characteristics and the partitioning of flow-paths within the canopy.

Keywords: canopy storage, stable isotope tracers, rainfall interception, spatial heterogeneity, temporal stability

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.



Allen, S.T.; Brooks, J.R.; Keim, R.F.; Bond, B.J.; McDonnell, J.J. 2014. The role of pre-event canopy storage in throughfall and stemflow by using isotopic tracers. Ecohydrology. 7: 858-868.


 [ 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.