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Twenty-four Years of Ponderosa Pine Growth in Relation to Canopy Leaf Area and Understory Competition

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With data from a long-term experiment in which initial stocking of trees and understory vegetation were controlled, we tested the hypothesis that stand growth is directly correlated with the development of the forest canopy; e.g., growth is proportional to canopy leaf area. The hypothesis was generally supported. Stands of ponderosa pine without understory vegetation more rapidly developed canopy leaf area than stands with an understory. At very low leaf area indices, wood production per unit of leaf area was more efficient, particularly in stands where the understory vegetation had been removed. Once the leaf area index exceeded 2.0, however, the efficiency of wood production remained stable and was comparable for stands with and without understory vegetation. For. Sci. 33(2):538-547.

Keywords: Pinus ponderosa; sapwood area; water use

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester, Bend Forest Sciences Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, Bend, OR 97701

Publication date: June 1, 1987

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