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The Ratio of Live Crown Length to Sapwood Area as a Measure of Crown Sparseness

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Abstract:

Leaf area density is a biologically appealing index of forest tree health because it can provide an assessment of foliage loss or retention; however, it is difficult to measure directly. In contrast, the ratio of crown length to sapwood area (CL:SA) is quite amenable to objective field measurement, and could be interpreted as an index of crown sparseness. CL:SA was computed for Douglas-fir trees from 70 plots covering a range in average size, stand density, site quality, and crown condition in the Oregon Coast Range. When expressed as cm:cm2, the index ranged from 2 to 100 for individual trees and from 2 to 11 for plot averages based on the 200 largest trees per ha. In general, individual trees with a high CL:SA had a lower relative height within the stand. The index also increased with increasing severity of needle loss on sites where Swiss needle cast (SNC) is causing premature loss of foliage. After correcting for stand density and stand age, plot basal area growth increased significantly with a decrease in plot average CL:SA across a gradient in Swiss needle cast severity. CL:SA has strong potential for discriminating effectively among stands with varying degrees of foliage loss and growth reduction due to other disturbances as well, such as air pollution and defoliating insects. FOR. SCI. 48(1):93–100.

Keywords: Sapwood area; crown length; defoliation; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; leaf area; leaf area density; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Resources, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331, Phone: (541) 737-4215; Fax: (541) 737-3049 doug.maguire@orst.edu 2: Oregon Department of Forestry, 2400 State Street, Salem, OR, Phone: 97310-(503) 945-7397

Publication date: 2002-02-01

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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