On the relationship between crown cover, foliage projective cover and leaf area index
Vegetation crown cover is a popular structural descriptor in both the remote sensing and ecological fields. However, several different definitions of vegetation crown cover are commonly measured and used, and relating one against the other is often difficult. In this study we derive simple expressions relating mature forest crown cover (CC), foliage projective cover (FPC) and leaf area index (LAI) using canopy gap fraction and canopy clumping theory. The relationship between FPC and CC is shown to be related to the ratio of the within canopy to between canopy clumping. A comprehensive field data set collected in forests and woodlands across Queensland is used to demonstrate the validity of the models. The results have widespread application in the modelling and analysis of forest structure.
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