Despite a longstanding interest in tree species’ vulnerability to ice storms, analyses of the influence of crown structure on within-crown variation in ice accretion are rare. Nock et al. test the hypothesis that intra-crown ice accretion can be predicted by a measure of sheltering by neighbouring branches. Empirical results and simulations confirmed a key role for crown architecture in determining intra-crown ice accretion.
As suspected, droplets are attenuated by passage through the crown, and thus higher branches accumulate more ice. This is the first step in developing a modelling approach to investigating intra-crown and inter-specific variation in freezing rain damage.
Charles A. Nock, Bastien Lecigne, Olivier Taugourdeau, David F. Greene, Jean Dauzat, Sylvain Delagrange, Christian Messier, 2016, 'Linking ice accretion and crown structure: towards a model of the effect of freezing rain on tree canopies', Annals of Botany, vol. 117, no. 7, pp. 1163-1173 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw059