A study on crown interception with four dominant tree species: A direct measurement

Xiang Li, Jianzhi Niu, Linus Zhang, Qingfu Xiao, Gregory E. McPherson, Natalie Van Doorn, Xinxiao Yu, Baoyuan Xie, Salli Dymond, Jiao Li, Chen Meng, Ziteng Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


An experiment was conducted to concentrate on the rainfall interception process of individual trees for four common species in Beijing, China, which included needle species (Platycladus orientalis and Pinus tabulaeformis) and broadleaf species (Quercus variabilis and Acer truncatum). Two types of interception storages, the maximum (Cmax) and the minimum interception storage (Cmin), were examined at four simulated rainfall intensities (from 11.7 to 78.5 mm hr-1). Results showed that an average of 91% of Cmax for all the species was intercepted during the first 10 minutes of rainfall, while 45% of Cmax drained off after rainfall cessation. Leaf area index (LAI) and leaf area (LA) were significantly correlated (p < 0.05) with Cmax and Cmin, while such significant correlations were not found between rainfall intensity and Cmax and Cmin. Average Cmax and Cmin across all the species corresponded to 3 and 1% of gross rainfall. Mean Cmax and Cmin of the needle species were 3.0 and 1.8 times larger than that for the broadleaf ones. Results revealed that interception was a dynamic process which encompassed three phases. In addition, LAI and LA were valid predictors of interception in small trees, and deserve further test in forest stands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-868
Number of pages12
JournalHydrology Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the working staff from Beijing Normal University for their careful inspection on the rainfall simulator and the help of postgraduates Changjiang Xie, Yong Liu, Jingping Tan, Xiaoli Wu, and Yinghu Zhang. We also deeply thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful recommendations on this manuscript. This study was supported by Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. TD2011-03, No. BLYJ201406); Chinese Scholarship Council Fund; National Natural Science Fund of China (41171028); National Advanced Project of the 12th Plan, China (2011BAD38B05); and National Forestry Public Welfare Industry Research Project (201104005). All the funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


  • Interception process
  • Interception storage
  • Leaf area
  • Leaf area index
  • Rainfall intensity
  • Tree species

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