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Modeling of light transmission under heterogeneous forest canopy : An appraisal of the effect of the precision level of crown description

Da Silva D., Balandier P., Boudon F., Marquier A., Godin C.. 2012. Annals of Forest Science, 69 (2) : p. 181-193.

Context Light availability in forest understory is essential for many processes; it is, therefore, a valuable information regarding forest management. However, its estimation is often difficult and direct measurements are tedious. Models can be used to compute understory light, but they often require a lot of field data to accurately predict light distribution, particularly in the case of heterogeneous canopies. & Aims The influence of the precision level of crown description was studied with a model (M?SLIM) that can be used with both detailed and coarse parameterization with the aim of reducing field data requirements to a minimum. & Methods We analyzed the deterioration of the prediction quality of light distribution to the reduction of inputs by comparing simulations to transmitted light measurements in forests of increasing complexity in three different locations. & Results With a full set of parameters to describe the tree crown (i.e., crown extension in at least eight directions, crown height and length), the model accurately simulated the light distribution. Simplifying crown description by a geometric shape with a mean radius of crown extension led to deteriorated but acceptable light distributions. Allometric relationships used to calculate crown extension from trunk diameter at breast height seriously reduced light distribution accuracy. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : houppier; lumière; régime lumineux; modèle de simulation; modèle mathématique; forêt mélangée; auvergne

Thématique : Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques; Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement; Production forestière

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