Model inversion procedures for computing leaf area index (LAI) from radiation measurements depend on foliage organization in space. The objective of this study is to find the parameters quantifying the geometry of a 5-year-old hedgerow apple orchard and to test the assumptions in the radiation penetration model serving to derive LAI. Leaves within contour intervals of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) were picked and their area determined. Calculated extinction coefficients for these intervals were positively correlated with LAI. Clumpiness factors (i.e. independent leaf area layer thicknesses for the negative; binomial model) δ, for these contour intervals, showed that the canopy is very clumpy on the outside (7 < δ < 15 for average-sized ‘normal’ trees, and 3 < δ < 7 for smaller than average ‘weak’ trees) and close to random on the inside (2 < δ < 4 for normal trees and 1 < δ < 3 for weak trees). Cluster analysis theory shows that leaves in the upper part of the tree were clustered around leafy shoots whereas lower in the canopy clustering around shoots weakened. A model of gap frequency in a stand of vertical columns of leaves was used to evaluate gap frequency in a tree composed of long leafy shoots. Assuming that the density of the vertical columns. is proportional to the cumulative LAI traversed by a ray predicts a light penetration profile similar to that measured in the apple trees. The results imply that measurement of LAI of the upper part of the canopy with inversion techniques may result in severe underestimations. Similarly, radiation penetration in this part of the canopy is underestimated by simple turbid medium models.
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 1995
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