The influence of canopy structure on stemwood production andgrowth efficiency of Pinus contorta var. latifolia

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J. Appl. Ecol.



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(1) Stemwood production and stemwood growth efficiency (stemwood volume increment per unit leaf area index) of even-aged stands of lodgepole pine were related to the amount and vertical distribution of leaf area. Stemwood growth of even-aged lodgepole pine stands, representing a wide range of density, age and site index, was highly correlated with leaf area index only when differences in canopy architecture were taken into account. Elements of canopy architecture which were related to stemwood production included canopy depth and foliar density within the canopy. (2) Growth efficiency was inversely related to the canopy depth. Therefore, for stands with similar leaf area indices, high stemwood production and growth efficiencies occurred in stands of restricted canopy depths. (3) Differences in canopy architectures of even-aged lodgepole pine stands are related to stand development processes and to differences in stand density. Decreased carbon allocation to branches may be reponsible for increased stemwood production and stemwood growth efficiency where canopy depth is restricted. High stand 'vigour' is associated with deep full crowns and rapid individual tree growth, but high stand growth efficiency and stemwood production are associated with short compact crowns and modest individual tree growth.