Leaf-on canopy closure in broadleaf deciduous forests predicted during winter

Forest Science
By: , and 



Forest canopy influences light transmittance, which in turn affects tree regeneration and survival, thereby having an impact on forest composition and habitat conditions for wildlife. Because leaf area is the primary impediment to light penetration, quantitative estimates of canopy closure are normally made during summer. Studies of forest structure and wildlife habitat that occur during winter, when deciduous trees have shed their leaves, may inaccurately estimate canopy closure. We estimated percent canopy closure during both summer (leaf-on) and winter (leaf-off) in broadleaf deciduous forests in Mississippi and Louisiana using gap light analysis of hemispherical photographs that were obtained during repeat visits to the same locations within bottomland and mesic upland hardwood forests and hardwood plantation forests. We used mixed-model linear regression to predict leaf-on canopy closure from measurements of leaf-off canopy closure, basal area, stem density, and tree height. Competing predictive models all included leaf-off canopy closure (relative importance = 0.93), whereas basal area and stem density, more traditional predictors of canopy closure, had relative model importance of ≤ 0.51.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Leaf-on canopy closure in broadleaf deciduous forests predicted during winter
Series title Forest Science
DOI 10.5849/forsci.14-196
Volume 61
Issue 5
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Society of American Foresters
Publisher location Bethesda, MD
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 6 p.
First page 926
Last page 931
Country United States
State Mississippi, Louisiana
County Warren County, Washington County, Concordia Parish, Ouachita Parish
Other Geospatial Vicksburg National Military Park, Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge, Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge, Ouachita Wildlife Management Area
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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