Why is so much rainfall lost from the forest canopy?

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Rainfall interception is the fraction of rain that falls onto vegetation and never reaches the ground, and therefore will not feed into rivers or infiltrate to recharge soil moisture and groundwater. Observed interception rates typically much exceed theoretically expected evaporation rates. Several hypotheses have been put forward, some of which could mean that forests might increase rainfall. This project will identify and describe the physical mechanism driving high forest rainfall interception rates, through a combination of field measurements and laboratory experiments.

Candidates should have some experience with scripting languages and programming. A scholarship may be available.

For more information about this potential research topic or activity, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.

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