3. Vegetation and the atmosphere:
VOL. 1 PRINCIPLES; VOL. 2 CASE STUDIES
Academic Press, London, UK, 1975
In the post war period, especially after 1950, a deliberate effort has been made to achieve a better balance between weather and soil studies in the study of vegetation in relation to its environment, in which soil conditions had been privileged for a long time. Stimulus for this work comes from, among others, (tropical) ecologists concerned with changes in the microclimate that occur when the equilibrium of an ecosystem is disturbed. The two volumes have been prepared to take stock of current knowledge and to ask whether ecological science is getting the full benefit from all the information now available about physical processes and mechanisms in plant communities. The first volume, as the introductional chapter states, deals with the main contributions of micrometeorology to ecology in terms of a matrix where mechanisms, processes and states are used against air, plants and soil. This leads to review chapters on radiative transfer in plant communities, momentum, mass and heat exchange of plant communities, the hydrological cycle in vegetation, the movement of particles in plant communities, micrometeorological models and instruments and their exposure. In the first part of the second volume chapters on relatively heavily studied crops like temperate cereals, maize and rice, sugar beet and potatoes, sunflower and finally cotton show (and occasionally state in their conclusive chapters) that much is known on (consequences of) radiation characteristics, less on (consequences of) detailed heat and water balances, appreciably less on (consequences of) momentum balances and carbon dioxide balances, overall enough to try to use some of it in relatively simple but economically useful attempts of crop climate management and manipulation, but that a synthesizing attempt for that purpose is far from possible. Only in either a modelling approach, like in the chapter on townsville stylo, or in controlling certain confined aspects (frost, solar radiation) of the microclimate, like in the chapter on citrus orchards, such simple but useful attempts are actually exemplified. The chapter on coniferous forests is one of the earliest attempts to apply in detail the same approach as for the well studied crops. In less detail, because less is known, the same is done for deciduous forests. And still more limited in scope but rather unique is the micrometeorological work reported on tropical rain forest. The last three chapters, on swamps, grassland and tundras show how micrometeorological concepts can be applied to whole ecosystems. It is important for our purposes that the following ecological topics are listed in which the potential contributions of micrometeorology have still to be realized: "measurements of states outside the temperate climates in which most micrometeorological groups have hitherto worked", "measurements of process rates over a whole growing season", "the description of plant communities as 2- or 3-dimensional systems: in particular, the application of micrometeorology to row crops and to systems of inter-cropping which are an integral part of traditional farming practice in many tropical areas; the micrometeorology of isolated trees or small groups of trees valuable for amenity or shelter; the measurement and specification of root systems", "analysis of the relation between weather and disease in terms of mechanisms, processes and states (including dispersal)", "the measurement of atmospheric pollutants in plant environments".
1154 92 - 6/33
Review, book, tropics, microclimate, environment, biometeorology, agronomic practices, yield
ROSENBERG, N.J. et al.
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