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Estimation of tree canopy leaf area index by gap fraction analysis

, : Estimation of tree canopy leaf area index by gap fraction analysis. Forest Ecology & Management 61(1-2): 91-108

We estimated leaf area index (LAI) in a needle-leaved forest and a broad-leaved orchard using four instruments which measure fractional light penetration through the canopy. Gap fraction data were analyzed by a one-dimensional inversion model or by using the Beer-Lambert Law. Instrument and analytical technique both had a strong influence on calculated LAI. There was no consistent pattern of LAI results among instruments so no simple cross-calibration can be offered. Three of the four instruments accurately estimated orchard LAI when used with one or the other analytical technique. In addition to performance, practical considerations including cost, sampling, and data analysis were also compared among the instruments. Because the instruments do not provide consistently accurate LAI estimates, LAI should be independently corroborated before use in any particular situation. These instruments may be most useful for relative LAI comparisons in a specific canopy type when a single combination of instrument and analytical technique is employed.

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Accession: 002373505

DOI: 10.1016/0378-1127(93)90192-P

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