Analyse de l'évapotranspiration et du bilan d'énergie de surface d'une forêt boréale humide aux échelles locales et régionales

Authors: Isabelle, Pierre-Erik
Advisor: Anctil, FrançoisNadeau, DanielRousseau, Alain N..
Abstract: The boreal forest covers 30% of Canada's surface and 14% of the earth's land surface. Climate change will severely affect it, and these ecosystems will in turn impact climate and global hydrology with significant exchanges of water, energy and carbon between the soil and the atmosphere. It is now crucial to understand the surface energy balance of this biome to effectively predict its behavior and evolution in a changing climate. Many studies have analyzed the energy balance of the boreal forest, but significant gaps remain: there are little studies in non-flat terrain, or in areas receiving significant rainfall, or with measurements at various spatial scales, let alone combinations of these three possibilities. The main aim of this thesis is to fill these gaps with a rigorous analysis of the energy balance and evapotranspiration of a boreal forest covering a pronounced topography, and this at several spatial scales (point: ~m², local: ~ha, regional: ~km²). The results are mainly based on a measurement campaign taking place at the Montmorency Forest of Université Laval, 80 km north of Québec, Canada. The forest is a balsam fir – white birch forest with trees of varying degrees of maturity. There, two flux towers are measuring all the energy balance terms since autumn 2015. Three specific objectives are associated with three spatial scales of measurement or modeling in a gradient from the point scale to the regional scale. In a first objective, the spatial heterogeneity of the forest cover is characterized by sub-canopy solar radiation measurements. Then, the vegetation density evaluation makes it possible to parameterize a land-surface scheme to obtain the variability of the evapotranspiration and its components. The results show that even though the transmission of radiation is highly variable from point to point (seasonal average between 7% and 69%), a spatial average at the local scale represents the area quite well. Modeling results indicate that a denser forest causes slightly more total evapotranspiration because it evaporates more intercepted precipitation and generates more transpiration. A denser forest, however, evaporates less water on the ground, which can lead to increased soil moisture under conditions of momentary drought. In the second objective, the impact of heavy rainfall on the local energy balance and evapotranspiration in the boreal forest is evaluated. To do this, the main site of Montmorency Forest is first compared with 13 boreal forest sites around the world on the basis of energy balance and evapotranspiration. The Montmorency Forest is the site receiving the most rainfall with ~1600 mm y⁻¹. For all sites, the precipitation received is positively related to annual evapotranspiration, which means the main site has the highest evapotranspiration rates, with ~550 mm y⁻¹. With accurate measurements of the outflow from the 3.5 km² watershed containing the Montmorency Forest measurement sites, the water balance is clearly established: excess water from precipitation is mainly discharged through outflows of the watershed, to an extent of ~1050 mm y⁻¹.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 3 October 2019
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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