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Hydrometeorological Differences between Opposite Valley Slopes and Vegetation Asymmetry in Hawaii

Yasuo Noguchi
Journal of Vegetation Science
Vol. 3, No. 2 (Apr., 1992), pp. 231-238
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3235684
Page Count: 8
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Hydrometeorological Differences between Opposite Valley Slopes and Vegetation Asymmetry in Hawaii
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Abstract

Hydrometeorological observations over a 15-month period and the evaluation of calculated water balance components across a selected valley in the northeast trade-wind environment in Hawaii showed the following: 1. A large reduction in wind speed and evaporation occurred on the upper protected west-facing slope as compared with an exposed ridge immediately in front of it and within a short horizontal distance. 2. Can evaporation values measured across the valley closely reflect the wind exposure and the availability of energy at each station. In terms of Penman potential evapotranspiration, the ridge station was again found to be the most exposed and the upper leeward slope the most protected. 3. The upper protected west-facing slope was comparatively more favourable for vegetation development in terms of the annual soil moisture conditions (both measured and calculated) and protection against mechanical damage by wind and air-borne salt; all the other parts of the slopes were exposed and occasionally received severe salt spray damage in winter. Most probably, these factors have contributed to the difference in speed of vegetation recovery from the disturbance, thus producing a, temporary, vegetation asymmetry.

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