Throughfall patterns in a subtropical rain forest of northeastern Taiwan

Teng Chiu Lin*, Steven P. Hamburg, Hen Biau King, Yue Joe Hsia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Throughfall chemistry of a subtropical rain forest in Taiwan was examined for 3 yr to understand patterns of nutrient inputs to the forests of this region. Annual throughfall fluxes for NH4/+, NO3/-, and SO4/2- (89, 28, and 83 mmol/m2/yr, respectively) were close to the levels of the most polluted areas in the temperate region. The lack of major emission sources near the study site indicates that most of the pollutants were regional and/or international in origin. High rates of cation leaching from the forest canopy were evident and the pattern is similar to that seen in heavily polluted temperate forests. Typhoons played a central role in the hydrology of the study forest with eight typhoons contributing 26% of the total rainfall in 320 h over the three years monitored. This typhoon input represented 20% of the total precipitation flux of the ions found in seasalt aerosols but less than 10% of anthropogenically enriched ions. Canopy leaching was an important source of base cations in throughfall and NO3/- was retained in the canopy. Using the Na-ratio method the contribution of dry deposition relative to precipitation input was estimated to be 40% in the summer and 10% in the winter. The contribution of dry deposition to total deposition is small relative to many temperate forests and might result from the lack of long dry periods between precipitation events. Net throughfall flux was negatively related to precipitation concentration for H+, NH4/+, NO3/- and SO4/2-, suggesting that passive movement was important in characterizing throughfall dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1186-1193
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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