Instrument for Indirect Measurement of Canopy Architecture
- J. M. Welles and
- J. M. Norman
Leaf area index (LAI) and leaf angle distribution are widely used indices of vegetative canopy structure that are difficult to measure directly. This study was conducted to test a commercially available instrument for rapidly determining LAI and foliage inclination information from “fisheye” measurements of light interception. The instrument's estimates of LAI are compared with direct measurements in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and prairie grass. The dominant grass species in the plots were Indian grass [Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash], switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman). The instrument's LAI resolution was better than 3%, and its LAI error was generally less than 15%. Variations in sky brightness patterns caused variations in LAI estimates in winter wheat of less than 10%, and the presence of direct solar radiation increased LAI errors to more than 30% in canopies of differing species and LAI. In the presence of gaps in the canopy, the sensor's azimuthal view should be reduced. A simple test indicates if a canopy's gaps are significant.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
Copyright © . .