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Models of 3D crown structure for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and silver birch (Betula pendula) grown in mixed forest

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The interplay between plant structure and functioning determines vital plant characteristics, such as the efficiency of light capture by the foliage, and thus continuous efforts have attempted to include plant architecture in plant growth models. We constructed two crown structure models enabling the generation of 3D trees using simple tree measurements as input for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.), boreal species growing in mixed stands. The data for the models were obtained from sample-based digitizing of 3D crown architecture accompanied by characterizations of stem, branch, and foliage volumes and biomass. A set of equations was used to predict local crown characteristics on the basis of local predictors and tree-level input variables such as tree height, crown height, diameter at breast height, and the degree of competition. The 3D tree model was realized within the LIGNUM tree modelling framework. Comparison with data showed that the model adequately predicts the distribution of biomass into different crown components as well as the distribution of foliage within the tree crowns. The applicability of the simulations is at its best when examining Scots pine and silver birch trees growing on medium fertile mixed stands in Finland.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland. 2: The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. BOX 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland. 3: Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station, University of Helsinki, Hyytiäläntie 124, FI-35500 Korkeakoski, Finland.

Publication date: September 29, 2011

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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