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Evaluating structural and compositional canopy characteristics to predict the light-demand signature of the forest understorey in mixed, semi-natural temperate forests

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Abstract
Questions Light availability at the forest floor affects many forest ecosystem processes, and is often quantified indirectly through easy-to-measure stand characteristics. We investigated how three such characteristics, basal area, canopy cover and canopy closure, were related to each other in structurally complex mixed forests. We also asked how well they can predict the light-demand signature of the forest understorey (estimated as the mean Ellenberg indicator value for light ["EIVLIGHT"] and the proportion of "forest specialists" ["%FS"] within the plots). Furthermore, we asked whether accounting for the shade-casting ability of individual canopy species could improve predictions ofEIV(LIGHT)and %FS. Location A total of 192 study plots from nineteen temperate forest regions across Europe. Methods In each plot, we measured stand basal area (all stems >7.5 cm diameter), canopy closure (with a densiometer) and visually estimated the percentage cover of all plant species in the herb (<1 m), shrub (1-7 m) and tree layer (>7 m). We used linear mixed-effect models to assess the relationships between basal area, canopy cover and canopy closure. We performed model comparisons, based onR(2)and the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), to assess which stand characteristics can predictEIV(LIGHT)and %FSbest, and to assess whether canopy shade-casting ability can significantly improve model fit. Results Canopy closure and cover were weakly related to each other, but showed no relation with basal area. For bothEIV(LIGHT)and %FS, canopy cover was the best predictor. Including the share of high-shade-casting species in both the basal-area and cover models improved the model fit forEIV(LIGHT), but not for %FS. Conclusions The typically expected relationships between basal area, canopy cover and canopy closure were weak or even absent in structurally complex mixed forests. In these forests, easy-to-measure structural canopy characteristics were poor predictors of the understorey light-demand signature, but accounting for compositional characteristics could improve predictions.
Keywords
Ecology, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Nature and Landscape Conservation, basal area, canopy closure, canopy cover, Ellenberg indicator values, herb layer, light availability, light transmittance, shade-casting ability, temperate forest, understorey, SOLAR-RADIATION TRANSMITTANCE, SEEDLING SURVIVAL, GAP FORMATION, COMMUNITY, VEGETATION, MANAGEMENT, DIVERSITY, RESPONSES, COVER, LAYER

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Citation

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MLA
Depauw, Leen, et al. “Evaluating Structural and Compositional Canopy Characteristics to Predict the Light-Demand Signature of the Forest Understorey in Mixed, Semi-Natural Temperate Forests.” APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE, vol. 24, no. 1, 2021, doi:10.1111/avsc.12532.
APA
Depauw, L., Perring, M., Landuyt, D., Maes, S., Blondeel, H., De Lombaerde, E., … Verheyen, K. (2021). Evaluating structural and compositional canopy characteristics to predict the light-demand signature of the forest understorey in mixed, semi-natural temperate forests. APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE, 24(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12532
Chicago author-date
Depauw, Leen, Michael Perring, Dries Landuyt, Sybryn Maes, Haben Blondeel, Emiel De Lombaerde, Guntis Brūmelis, et al. 2021. “Evaluating Structural and Compositional Canopy Characteristics to Predict the Light-Demand Signature of the Forest Understorey in Mixed, Semi-Natural Temperate Forests.” APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE 24 (1). https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12532.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Depauw, Leen, Michael Perring, Dries Landuyt, Sybryn Maes, Haben Blondeel, Emiel De Lombaerde, Guntis Brūmelis, Jörg Brunet, Déborah Closset-Kopp, Guillaume Decocq, Jan Den Ouden, Werner Härdtle, Radim Hédl, Thilo Heinken, Steffi Heinrichs, Bogdan Jaroszewicz, Martin Kopecký, Ilze Liepiņa, Martin Macek, František Máliš, Wolfgang Schmidt, Simon M. Smart, Karol Ujházy, Monika Wulf, and Kris Verheyen. 2021. “Evaluating Structural and Compositional Canopy Characteristics to Predict the Light-Demand Signature of the Forest Understorey in Mixed, Semi-Natural Temperate Forests.” APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE 24 (1). doi:10.1111/avsc.12532.
Vancouver
1.
Depauw L, Perring M, Landuyt D, Maes S, Blondeel H, De Lombaerde E, et al. Evaluating structural and compositional canopy characteristics to predict the light-demand signature of the forest understorey in mixed, semi-natural temperate forests. APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE. 2021;24(1).
IEEE
[1]
L. Depauw et al., “Evaluating structural and compositional canopy characteristics to predict the light-demand signature of the forest understorey in mixed, semi-natural temperate forests,” APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE, vol. 24, no. 1, 2021.
@article{8686664,
  abstract     = {{Questions Light availability at the forest floor affects many forest ecosystem processes, and is often quantified indirectly through easy-to-measure stand characteristics. We investigated how three such characteristics, basal area, canopy cover and canopy closure, were related to each other in structurally complex mixed forests. We also asked how well they can predict the light-demand signature of the forest understorey (estimated as the mean Ellenberg indicator value for light ["EIVLIGHT"] and the proportion of "forest specialists" ["%FS"] within the plots). Furthermore, we asked whether accounting for the shade-casting ability of individual canopy species could improve predictions ofEIV(LIGHT)and %FS. Location A total of 192 study plots from nineteen temperate forest regions across Europe. Methods In each plot, we measured stand basal area (all stems >7.5 cm diameter), canopy closure (with a densiometer) and visually estimated the percentage cover of all plant species in the herb (<1 m), shrub (1-7 m) and tree layer (>7 m). We used linear mixed-effect models to assess the relationships between basal area, canopy cover and canopy closure. We performed model comparisons, based onR(2)and the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), to assess which stand characteristics can predictEIV(LIGHT)and %FSbest, and to assess whether canopy shade-casting ability can significantly improve model fit. Results Canopy closure and cover were weakly related to each other, but showed no relation with basal area. For bothEIV(LIGHT)and %FS, canopy cover was the best predictor. Including the share of high-shade-casting species in both the basal-area and cover models improved the model fit forEIV(LIGHT), but not for %FS. Conclusions The typically expected relationships between basal area, canopy cover and canopy closure were weak or even absent in structurally complex mixed forests. In these forests, easy-to-measure structural canopy characteristics were poor predictors of the understorey light-demand signature, but accounting for compositional characteristics could improve predictions.}},
  articleno    = {{e12532}},
  author       = {{Depauw, Leen and Perring, Michael and Landuyt, Dries and Maes, Sybryn and Blondeel, Haben and De Lombaerde, Emiel and Brūmelis, Guntis and Brunet, Jörg and Closset-Kopp, Déborah and Decocq, Guillaume and Den Ouden, Jan and Härdtle, Werner and Hédl, Radim and Heinken, Thilo and Heinrichs, Steffi and Jaroszewicz, Bogdan and Kopecký, Martin and Liepiņa, Ilze and Macek, Martin and Máliš, František and Schmidt, Wolfgang and Smart, Simon M. and Ujházy, Karol and Wulf, Monika and Verheyen, Kris}},
  issn         = {{1402-2001}},
  journal      = {{APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE}},
  keywords     = {{Ecology,Management,Monitoring,Policy and Law,Nature and Landscape Conservation,basal area,canopy closure,canopy cover,Ellenberg indicator values,herb layer,light availability,light transmittance,shade-casting ability,temperate forest,understorey,SOLAR-RADIATION TRANSMITTANCE,SEEDLING SURVIVAL,GAP FORMATION,COMMUNITY,VEGETATION,MANAGEMENT,DIVERSITY,RESPONSES,COVER,LAYER}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{13}},
  title        = {{Evaluating structural and compositional canopy characteristics to predict the light-demand signature of the forest understorey in mixed, semi-natural temperate forests}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12532}},
  volume       = {{24}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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