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Different temperature and humidity responses to the clear-cut and the gap in a Scots pine forest: a study case in Central Poland
* 1 , * 2
1  Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Forestry Faculty, Department of Silviculture
2  Warsaw University of Life Sciences


Over the past decades, relatively few experimental studies have been carried out in which the micrometeorological conditions have been studied over different small clearings plots of the forest. As these conditions can significantly affect many processes in the ecosystem, two questions arise: 1) whether and how the microclimatic conditions differ in the small clear-cut and the gap, and 2) how heterogeneous is the distribution of these conditions on these plots. The aim of the study was to determine the spatial variation of air temperature on the clear-cut and gap as well as to compare the distribution of thermal and humidity conditions on both areas. The research was carried out in Central Poland on a clear-cut with a width of 60 m and on a gap of an ellipsoid shape (40x70 m). The measurements were carried out in two series: spring-summer, in the period when the height of the sun during the day conditioned inflow of direct solar radiation to any surface (May–August 2006), and autumn, when direct radiation was limited by neighbouring stands (October­–November 2006). Average values of air temperature on the gap in the spring-summer period differed in individual parts of 2.2 oC, while on the clear-cut by 1.0 oC. In the autumn, thermal diversity on both research plots was similar (average 0.8 oC). The thermal diversity within the research areas was particularly marked in the case of extreme air temperature values. We found the modest spatial diversification of humidity parameters: vapour pressure, relative humidity, and humidity deficit. Particularly large diversification of relativity humidity and vapour pressure deficit were claimed in spring-summer period in the situation of heat waves. The least beneficial thermal and humidity conditions for plants growing occurred in the north-east parts of clear-cut and gap, that is why it necessary to take particular note of these locations during undertaking the silviculture.

Keywords: forest microclimate; felling site; field measurements; Scots pine forest