Tropical Montane Cloud Forest Characteristics in Southern Thailand
Keywords:Climatic factor, epiphyte cover, rainfall, relative humidity, soil, temperature, Thailand
The climatic, vegetation and soil characteristics of several tropical montane cloud forests in southern Thailand were investigated. Automatic weather stations were installed at three study sites: Mt. Nom cloud forest, Dadfa cloud forest and Mt. Nan Headquarters. HOBO U23 Pro V2 Temperature/Relative Humidity data loggers along the Mt. Nom elevational transect at five sites (500, 700, 900, 1,100 and 1,300 m) were installed for measuring air temperature and relative humidity. Soil samples along the Mt. Nom elevational transect at the same five sites were collected and soil pH, soil moisture and organic content were measured in the laboratory. Tree height, shrub width, leaf thickness, leaf area and epiphyte cover of every Lithocarpus bennettii (Miq.) Rehd. tree found along the Mt. Nom cloud forest elevational transect starting at 313 m and ending at 1,274 m were measured. Of the three sites, Mt. Nom cloud forest had the lowest air temperature, dew point, heat index, solar radiation, solar energy and UV index. Soil moisture and soil organic content increased with increasing elevation. The soil pH ranged from 3.6 to 4.3 which indicated that soil at Mt. Nom is high acidic.
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