Comparison of leaf area index estimates from treeallometrics and measured light interception

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Forest Science



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We compared estimates of leaf area index (LAI) based on tree allometrics and light interception in 15 lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) stands in southeastern Wyoming. LAI from stem allometrics was estimated with a local equation demonstrated to produce accurate and unbiased leaf area estimates for the stand conditions in this study. LAI from measured light interception, estimated with a species-average light extinction coefficient using the Beer-Lambert Law, was not correlated with LAI determined from tree allometrics. Light extinction coefficients varied from 0.29 to 0.67 when determined from allometric estimates of LAI and measured light interception. The derived light extinction coefficients were inversely correlated with LAI (r² = 0.79). High LAI may be associated with canopy architectures where foliage distribution results in reduced light capture effectiveness. Variation in light capture by lodgepole pine canopies may preclude the use of a species average light extinction coefficient for estimating LAI. For. Sci. 37(6):1682-1688.

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