Effects of crown expansion into gaps on evaluation of disturbance intensity in northern hardwood forests

L. E. Frelich, G. L. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Crown encroachment by trees surrounding newly formed gaps reduces their size, a fact that may cause error in area-based analyses of rate of gap formation and disturbance intensity. Generally, an estimate of proportional area occupied by age classes with a stand of trees can be obtained by determining the age of a selected canopy tree nearby each of randomly or uniformly located sample points. Possible methods of selecting nearby canopy trees include: 1) nearest-tree selection method, in which the canopy tree with its stem closest to the sample point is chosen; and 2) overhead-crown selection method, in which the canopy tree whose crown is directly above the sample point is chosen. These 2 methods differ greatly in their sensitivity to crown encroachment. In sugar maple Acer saccharum stands, the nearest-tree selection method leads to better estimates of the area originally occupied by a cohort of trees. The overhead-crown selection method leads to an unbiased estimate of area currently occupied by a cohort. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-536
Number of pages7
JournalForest Science
Volume34
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

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