Canadian Forest Service Publications

Modeling snowpack and soil temperatures and moisture conditions in a jack pine, black spruce and aspen forest stand in central Saskatchewan (BOREAS SSA) 2006. Balland, V.; Bhatti, J.S.; Errington, R.C.; Castonguay, M.; Arp, P.A. Canadian Journal of Soil Science (Special Issue) 86(2): 203-217.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26107

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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Impacts of climate change on above- and below-ground heat and moisture conditions were modeled so that other impacts on, e.g., local carbon (C) and C-based pools for nutrients and pollutants such as Hg can be predicted reliably. This paper shows how the 1998–2003 data for the jack pine (jp; Pinus banksiana Lamb.), black spruce (bs; Picea mariana) and aspen (ta; Populus tremuloides) sites of the Southern Study Area of the BOREAS project were used to estimate some of the hydrothermal soil responses at these locations to daily variations in precipitation and air temperature. This was done by initializing and calibrating a forest hydrology model that has the capacity to simulate flow and retention of moisture and heat, as modified by canopy closure, ground cover, forest-floor depth, and soil composition. The calculations and data revealed strong but predictable site-specific differences in soil temperature and frost penetration (jp: 1–2 m > ta: 0. 5–1 m > bs: 0–0.5 m), in soil moisture freezing (ta < bs < jp), and in moisture retention (jp < ta < bs). Apart from daily weather, these differences depended on soil texture (loamy/sandy texture impeded/encouraged soil freezing, respectively), and on the thermal insulation and moisture retention of the combined forest floor, moss and lichen layers (ta < jp < bs).