Stem Flow, Throughfall, and Canopy Interception of Rainfall by Citrus Tree Canopies

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  • 1 University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Indian River Research and Education Center, 2199 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945
  • | 2 University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Citrus Research and Education Center, 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850
  • | 3 University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Indian River Research and Education Center, 2199 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945

It is generally believed that the interception of rain by the citrus tree canopy can substantially decrease the throughfall under the canopy as compared to that along the dripline or outside the canopy (incident rainfall). Therefore, the position of placement of soil-applied agrichemicals in relation to the tree canopy may be an important consideration to minimize their leaching during rain events. In this study, the distributions of rainfall under the tree canopies of three citrus cultivars, `Marsh' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.), `Hamlin' orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck), and `Temple' orange (Citrus hybrid), were evaluated at four directions (north, south, east, west), two positions (dripline and under the canopy), and stem flow. There was not a significant canopy effect on rainfall amounts from stem flow or dripline, compared with outside canopy, for any citrus cultivar or storm event. However, throughfall varied significantly among the four cardinal directions under the canopy of all three citrus cultivars and was highly related to the wind direction. Among the three citrus cultivars evaluated in this study, throughfall, stem flow, and canopy interception accounted for 89.5% to 92.7%, 0.5% to 4.7%, and 5.8% to 9.3% of the incident rainfall, respectively.

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