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A Quantitative Description of a Deciduous Forest Canopy Using a Photographic Technique

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Three features of a deciduous forest canopy were measured using nondestructive techniques. Vertical distribution of leaf area was measured using an established technique (MacArthur and Horn 1969). A technique was developed and used to quantify seasonal variation in the canopy. Leaf area index (LAI) was calculated with several techniques, which were compared to litter trap LAI values to determine their accuracy. A new technique for LAI calculation was developed, which accurately estimated LAI at our site and may be applied to other eastern hardwood forests. These three techniques are proposed to quantitatively describe a deciduous forest canopy. These measurements can be made nondestructively, with minimal equipment and labor costs, and with a high degree of accuracy. For. Sci. 36(2):381-393.

Keywords: Canopy presence; image processing; leaf emergence

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Clark Hall, Charlottesville 22903

Publication date: June 1, 1990

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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