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Title: Estimation of leaf area index in understory deciduous trees using digital photography
Authors: Chianucci, Francesco
Cutini, Andrea
Corona, Piermaria
Puletti, Nicola
Keywords: Digital nadir photography;Foliage cover;Leaf angle distribution;Foliage projection coefficient;Leveled camera
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Chianucci, F. et al., 2014. Estimation of leaf area index in understory deciduous trees using digital photography. "Agricultural and Forest Meteorology" 198–199: 259–264
Fast and accurate estimates of understory leaf area are essential to a wide range of ecological applications.
Indirect methods have mainly been used to estimate leaf area of overstory but their application in understory remains largely unexplored. In this study we described a combination of digital photographic
methods to obtain rapid, reliable and non-destructive estimate of leaf area index of understory deciduous trees. Nadir photography was used to estimate foliage cover, vertical gap fraction and foliage clumping index. Leveled photography was used to characterize the leaf angle distribution of the examined tree species. Leaf area index estimates obtained combining the two photographic methods were compared with direct measurements obtained from harvesting (L).
We applied these methods in Quercus cerris, Carpinus betulus and Fagus sylvatica stands. Foliage cover estimates derived from two nadir image classification methods were significantly correlated with leaf area index measurements obtained from harvesting. The leveled digital photographic method, previously tested in tall trees and field crops, provided reliable leaf angle measurements in understory tree species.
Digital photography provided good indirect estimates of L. We conclude that digital photography is suitable for routine estimate and monitoring of understory leaf area, on account of its fast and cost-effective procedure.
ISSN: 0168-1923
Appears in Collections:DiSAFRi - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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