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Exergy Destruction, Entropy Production, Net Radiation, and Surface Temperature Are Highly Correlated in Tropical Forest

Feb 13, 2018     Email"> PrintText Size

Entropy and exergy are the central concepts in thermodynamics, and many researchers have used them to characterize ecosystem development. However, quantitative analysis of the relationship among exergy destruction, canopy surface temperature, and net radiation from the view of thermodynamic laws has rarely been conducted. 

The researchers at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of Chinese Academy of Sciences recently analyzed the relationship among entropy production (exergy destruction), net radiation, and canopy surface temperature based on thermodynamic laws, and verified this relationship with long-term monitoring data of Xishuangbanna tropical seasonal rain forest. The study was published in Ecological Indicators.

They aimed to further understand the relationships between thermodynamic concepts and ecological indicators, i.e. net radiation and canopy surface temperature. 

In this study, generally, the specific entropy production was found to be lower during the rainy season and higher during the dry season of the tropical seasonal rain forest. It decreased from April and reached the lowest level during August and September. The entropy budget of the forest was positive and stable throughout the year. 

The empirical data showed that entropy production decreased linearly with increasing canopy surface temperature, and that higher incoming shortwave radiation produced more entropy. Entropy production linearly increased with net radiation Total entropy production increased, but specific entropy production reduced with forest growth.

Taken together, exergy destruction, entropy production, net radiation, and surface temperature were proven to be highly correlated. As compared with exergy destruction and entropy production, net radiation and canopy surface temperature were more perceivable. Moreover, the measurements of net radiation and canopy surface temperature were more direct and accurate than those of the related indicators of entropy and exergy.  


(Editor: LIU Jia)

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