Forest canopies are important components of the terrestrial carbon budget, which has motivated a worldwide effort, FLUXNET, to measure CO exchange between forests and the atmosphere. These measurements are difficult to interpret and to scale up to estimate exchange across a landscape. Here we review the effects of complex terrain on the mean flow, turbulence, and scalar exchange in canopy flows, as exemplified by adjustment to forest edges and hills, including the effects of stable stratification. We focus on the fundamental fluid mechanics, in which developments in theory, measurements, and modeling, particularly through large-eddy simulation, are identifying important processes and providing scaling arguments. These developments set the stage for the development of predictive models that can be used in combination with measurements to estimate exchange at the landscape scale.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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