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Factors Influencing Canopy Rainfall Interception in Trees Grown on a Landfill

Canopy rainfall interception plays an important role in determining the amount of rainfall reaching the ground surface. This characteristic feature in plants significantly contributes to the hydrological balance of a site, especially in a phytocapped landfill site, where the primary aim is to restrict the percolation of rain water into the refuse. Results from canopy interception studies on 19 tree species grown on a phytocap suggest the ability of these trees to intercept up to 50 % of the total rainfall received with an average interception of 30% as compared to 18% to 30% for a forest. Stemflow contributed up to 4.5 % of the total rain received as compared to 2% to 5% for a forest. There are several environmental, climatic and tree morphological parameters that have high influence on rainfall interception. This difference in tree morphology among tree species brings in the variation in the interception potential between tree species and also between trees of the same species.

Author(s): Kartik Venkatraman

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