The stemflow of trees in a Bornean lowland tropical forest

Odair J. Manfroi, Kuraji Koichiro, Tanaka Nobuaki, Suzuki Masakazu, Michiko Nakagawa, Tohru Nakashizuka, Lucy Chong

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    69 Citations (Scopus)


    Stemflow volume generation in lowland tropical forests was measured over a 1-year period in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The stemflow volume generated by 66 free-standing trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) over 1 cm and a tree height over 1 m were measured daily in a representative 10 m × 10 m plot of the forest. Throughfall in the plot was also measured using 20 gauges in a fixed position. Of the 2292 mm of total rainfall observed during the year-long period, stemflow accounted for 3.5%, throughfall for 82% and there was an interception loss of 14.5%. Understory trees (DBH < 10 cm) played an important role in stemflow generation, producing 77% of the overall stemflow volume and 90% during storms with less than 20 mm of rainfall. Also, owing to their efficiency at funneling rainfall or throughfall water received by their crowns, some understory trees noticeably reduced the catches of the throughfall gauges situated under the reach of their crown areas. During storms producing greater than 20 mm of rainfall, 80% of the total stemflow occurred; trees with a large DBH or height and for which the ratio between crown's diameter and depth is less than 1, tended to generate more stemflow volume in these storms. Mean areal stemflow as a fraction of rainfall in this lowland tropical forest was 3.4%, but may range from 1-10% depending upon the proportion of trees that are high or poor stemflow yielders. Trees with DBH greater than 10 cm were likely to contribute less than 1% of the 3.4% mean areal stemflow in the forest.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2455-2474
    Number of pages20
    JournalHydrological Processes
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 2004 Sep 1


    • Borneo
    • Interception loss
    • Mean areal stemflow
    • Rainfall partitioning
    • Sarawak
    • Understory trees

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Water Science and Technology


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