Impact of Forest Canopy Closure on Snow Processes in the Changbai Mountains, Northeast China

Yuan Gao, Lidu Shen, Rongrong Cai, Anzhi Wang, Fenghui Yuan, Jiabing Wu, Dexin Guan, Huaxia Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Forest canopy closure affects snow processes by changing the redistribution of snowfall, snow interception, accumulation, sublimation, and melt. However, how the forest closure impacts snow processes at different periods has not been well explored. We conducted 3-year measurements of snow density and depth and carried out snow process calculations (i.e., interception, sublimation, and snowmelt) from 2018 to 2021 in four mixed forests with different canopy closures and an open site in the Changbai Mountains, northeast China. We found that the snow density of the five study sites varied greatly (0.14–0.45 g/cm3). The snow depth (SD) at four mixed forests sites was smaller than that of the nearby open site. The SD decreased as the forest canopy closure increased. Additionally, the forest interception effect increased with the canopy closure and decreased as the snowfall intensity increased. The total interception efficiency of the four mixed forests in normal snow years changed from 34% to 73% and increased with forest canopy closure. The averaged sublimation rate (Ss) and snowmelt rate (Sr) of the four mixed forests varied during different periods of snow process. The Ss was 0.1–0.4 mm/day during the accumulation period and 0.2–1.0 mm/day during the ablation period, and the Sr was 1.5–10.5 mm/day during the ablation period. There was a good correlation between Ss, or Sr, and canopy closure, but interannual variation was observed in the correlation. The mean values of the effect of the four mixed forests on understory SWE (snow water equivalent) over the 3 years ranged from −45% to −65%. Moreover, the impact effect was correlated with the forest canopy closure and enhanced with the canopy closure. This study provided more scientific information for studies of snow cover response to forest management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number929309
JournalFrontiers in Environmental Science
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31971728, 32171873, 41975150, and 31870625).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Gao, Shen, Cai, Wang, Yuan, Wu, Guan and Yao.


  • forest canopy closure
  • forest snow
  • interception
  • snowmelt
  • sublimation


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of Forest Canopy Closure on Snow Processes in the Changbai Mountains, Northeast China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this