Variation characteristics of the soil surface temperature induced by shrub canopy greatly affects the nearsurface biological and biochemical processes in desert ecosystems. However, information regarding the effects of shrub upon the heterogeneity of soil surface temperature is scarce. Here we aimed to characterize the effects of shrub (Caragana korshinskii) canopy on the soil surface temperature heterogeneity at areas under shrub canopy and the neighbouring bare ground. Diurnal variations of soil surface temperature were measured at areas adjacent to the shrub base (ASB), beneath the midcanopy (BMC), and in the bare intershrub spaces (BIS) at the eastern, southern, western and northern aspects of shrub, respectively. Results indicated that diurnal mean soil surface temperature under the C. korshinskii canopy (ASB and BMC) was significantly lower than in the BIS, with the highest in the BIS, followed by the BMC and ASB. The diurnal maximum and diurnal variations of soil surface temperatures under canopy vary strongly with different aspects of shrub with the diurnal variation in solar altitude, which could be used as cues to detect safe sites for under-canopy biota. A significant empirical linear relationship was found between soil surface temperature and solar altitude, suggesting an empirical predicator that solar altitude can serve for soil surface temperature. Lower soil surface temperatures under the canopy than in the bare intershrub spaces imply that shrubs canopy play a role of ‘cool islands’ in the daytime in terms of soil surface temperature during hot summer months in the desert ecosystems characterized by a mosaic of sparse vegetation and bare ground.
Volume 129, 2019
Continuous Article Publishing mode
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