Rainfall interception by natural and planted forests in the Middle Mountains of Central Nepal

Chandra Prasad Ghimire, L. Adrian Bruijnzeel, Maciek W. Lubczynski, Mike Bonell

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    64 Citations (Scopus)


    Measurements of gross rainfall, throughfall and stemflow were made during the 2011 rainy season in an evergreen natural forest and in a planted pine forest located in complex topography in the Middle Mountains of Central Nepal. For the period of observation (20 June-9 September, 2011), measured throughfall, stemflow and derived interception loss in the natural forest were 76.2%, 1.4% and 22.4% of incident rainfall, respectively. Corresponding values for the pine plantation were 83.0%, 0.5% and 16.5%. The revised version of Gash's analytical model of rainfall interception was calibrated and validated for the two stands, representing a first for montane sub-tropical monsoonal conditions. The results of the modelling corresponded well with observed values, provided an optimised value was used for the average wet-canopy evaporation rate. The model was subsequently used to calculate annual interception losses from the two forests. Modelled estimates of annual interception loss for the planted and natural forest were 291. mm and 319. mm and represented 19.4% and 22.6% of incident rainfall, respectively. The high interception loss from the planted forest is considered a contributory factor towards the observed decline in dry season streamflow following the reforestation of degraded hillsides in the Middle Mountains of Nepal.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)270-280
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Hydrology
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2012


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