Influence of canopy tree size on stand basal area may reflect uncoupling of crown expansion and trunk diameter growth

Christopher H. Lusk, Carolina Jara, Teresa Parada

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A recent article by Midgley and colleagues suggests that large trees give rise to inordinately high stand basal areas because they pack canopy space more efficiently than smaller trees. We argue that this phenomenon bears more relation to the fact that diameter increment is not necessarily accompanied by significant crown expansion during all stages of a tree's life. Using data from a canopy tree population in an old-growth temperate forest, we found that crown area scaled as roughly the 3/5 power of trunk basal area. Rather than reflecting fixed scaling laws, we suggest that this pattern arises because of limited opportunities for crown expansion in dense stands. Old canopy trees in dense stands can thus accumulate large basal areas without occupying a commensurately large canopy area.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)216-218
    Number of pages3
    JournalAustral Ecology
    Volume28
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • Additive basal area
    • Allometry
    • Competition
    • Crown ratio
    • Forest dynamics
    • Scaling
    • Stand dynamics

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