iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Quantifying the vertical microclimate profile within a tropical seasonal rainforest, based on both ground- and canopy-referenced approaches

Yun Deng (1-2-3-4), Jinlong Dong (1-2-4), Wenfu Zhang (1-2-4), Shengdong Yuan (1-2-4), Zhenghong Tan (5), Qinghai Song (1-2), Xiaobao Deng (1-2), Min Cao (1-2)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 24-32 (2022)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3780-014
Published: Jan 27, 2022 - Copyright © 2022 SISEF

Research Articles

Quantifying the microclimate of a tall and complex tropical forest is quite challenging because of the difficulty in accessing the canopy. Traditional ground-referenced methods may underestimate the contribution of canopy heterogeneity to structuring the vertical profiles of forest microclimate. The present study examined how the reference height affects vertical variation of microclimate in a tropical rainforest in southwest China, based on both ground- and canopy-referenced approaches. The results show that the canopy-referenced approach yielded a higher model fit than did the ground-referenced method, and only canopy-referenced method could detect two thresholds in the leaf area index at approximately -22.6 ± 2.7 m and -36.6 ± 6.6 m below the canopy top; the higher threshold is consistent with thresholds of the annual mean temperature, the diurnal ranges of air temperature, and the relative humidity in the vertical profile; while the lower threshold is similar with the breakpoints of annual mean relative humidity, the annual ranges of air temperature and the relative humidity along the profile. The discontinuous variance in the microclimatic factors was due to the canopy structure in the vertical profile. Selecting the top of the canopy as the reference height could be a better approach for quantifying the microclimatic profiles in the studied forest, and this approach can improve our understanding of the effects of the vertical stratification of microclimates on species composition and diversity in this forest.


Tropical Seasonal Rainforest, Vertical Gradient, Light Environment, Temperature And Humidity, Distance From The Canopy Surface

Authors’ address

Yun Deng
Jinlong Dong
Wenfu Zhang
Shengdong Yuan
Qinghai Song
Xiaobao Deng
Min Cao
CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Menglun 666303, Yunnan (China)
Yun Deng
Jinlong Dong
Wenfu Zhang
Shengdong Yuan
Qinghai Song
Xiaobao Deng
Min Cao
Center for Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Menglun 666303, Yunnan (China)
Yun Deng
Department of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China)
Yun Deng
Jinlong Dong
Wenfu Zhang
Shengdong Yuan
National Forest Ecosystem Research Station at Xishuangbanna, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Menglun 666303, Yunnan (China)
Zhenghong Tan
Department of Environmental Sciences, Hainan University, Haikou 570228 (China)

Corresponding author

Min Cao


Deng Y, Dong J, Zhang W, Yuan S, Tan Z, Song Q, Deng X, Cao M (2022). Quantifying the vertical microclimate profile within a tropical seasonal rainforest, based on both ground- and canopy-referenced approaches. iForest 15: 24-32. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3780-014

Academic Editor

Tamir Klein

Paper history

Received: Feb 10, 2021
Accepted: Nov 26, 2021

First online: Jan 27, 2022
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2022
Publication Time: 2.07 months

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