Next Article in Journal
Influence of the Airflow in a Solar Passive Building on the Indoor Air Quality and Thermal Comfort Levels
Previous Article in Journal
Analysis of Agricultural Drought Risk Based on Information Distribution and Diffusion Methods in the Main Grain Production Areas of China
Previous Article in Special Issue
Spatial-Temporal Variability of Land Surface Dry Anomalies in Climatic Aspect: Biogeophysical Insight by Meteosat Observations and SVAT Modeling
Open AccessArticle

April Vegetation Dynamics and Forest–Climate Interactions in Central Appalachia

by Nathan Shull 1,2 and Eungul Lee 2,3,*
1
School of Geosciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
2
Department of Geology and Geography, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
3
Department of Geography, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120765
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 26 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
The study of land–atmosphere (L–A) interactions is an emerging field in which the effects of the land on the atmosphere are strongly considered. Though this coupled approach is becoming more popular in atmospheric research, L–A interactions are not fully understood, especially in temperate regions. This study provides the first in-depth investigation of L–A interactions and their impacts on near-surface climate conditions in the Appalachian region of the Eastern United States. By way of statistical analysis, we explore vegetation dynamics, L–A interactions, and the consequences for near-surface climate, along with the competing effects of the albedo (energy) and moisture (evapotranspiration and soil moisture) feedback. Based on the results from linear regression, composite, and correlation analyses, we conclude that: (1) a statistically significant increasing trend in April vegetation exists from 1982 to 2015 in central Appalachia; (2) there was empirical evidence that this increasing vegetation trend was significant and altered near-surface climatic conditions, as indicated by significantly enhanced latent heat flux, 2 m-specific humidity, and soil moisture; and (3) the dominant biogeophysical process responsible for the changes in near-surface climate conditions could be the positive moisture feedback process.
Keywords: land–atmosphere interactions; forest–climate interactions; Appalachian climate; Appalachian forest change; vegetation dynamics; spring phenology land–atmosphere interactions; forest–climate interactions; Appalachian climate; Appalachian forest change; vegetation dynamics; spring phenology
MDPI and ACS Style

Shull, N.; Lee, E. April Vegetation Dynamics and Forest–Climate Interactions in Central Appalachia. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 765.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop