On the use of tree stand parameters in estimating light conditions below the canopy.
Especially in forest vegetation studies, the light climate below the canopy is of great interest. In extensive forest inventories, direct measurement of the light conditions is too time-consuming. Often only the standard tree stand parameters are available. The present study was undertaken with the aim to develop methods for estimation of the light climate on the basis of readily measurable tree stand characteristics. The study material includes 40 sample plots representing different kinds of more or less mature forest stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.).
In each forest stand, a set of hemipherical photographs was taken and standard tree stand measurements were performed. A regression approach was applied in order to elaborate linear models for predicting the canopy coverage. The total basal area of the stand explained 63% of variance in the canopy coverage computed from hemipherical photographs. A coefficient representing the relative proportion of Norway spruce in the stand increased the explanatory power into 75%. When either the stand density (stems/unit area) or dominant age of the stand was included into the model, increment of the explanatory power into 80% was achieved. By incorporating both of the preceding predictors, an explanatory power of 85% was reached.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Published in 1985