canopy cover
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Ornis Fennica ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 98 (4) ◽  
pp. 142-161
Tobias Ludwig ◽  
Ralf Siano ◽  
Alexander V. Andreev

The Siberian Grouse (Falcipennis falcipennis), which is endemic to the “dark-needle” taiga of the Russian Far East, is one of the least studied grouse species in the world. We examined post-breeding habitat selection of Siberian Grouse and contrasted it with that of the better examined Hazel Grouse (Tetrastes bonasia) in two areas near Komsomolsk na Amure, Russia. To infer species-specific preferences, we used field sampling, logistic regression, and AIC model selection, and compared late summer habitats of Siberian Grouse and Hazel Grouse in a mountain- and hilly area in the dark needle taiga. Our study is the first to explain Siberian Grouse habitat relationships with an empirical modelling approach. Results indicate proportions of coniferous/ pioneer trees forest and rejuvenation to be the most important covariates separating Siberian and Hazel Grouse observation sites in forests from both areas. Siberian Grouse tended to select sites with low proportions of pioneer trees and rejuvenation but availability of dwarf shrubs. Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) appeared to be of high importance for the presence of Siberian Grouse in both regions. Hazel Grouse were common in places dominated by pioneer trees with high canopy cover, and high proportions of grass/herb cover. Hazel Grouse also occurred more often in forest sites with dense vertical layering and rejuvenation. Modern forestry, which results in increasing amounts of forests at younger successional stages, is likely to favour the Hazel Grouse at the expense of the Siberian Grouse.

2022 ◽  
Francesco Chianucci ◽  
Carlotta Ferrara ◽  
Nicola Puletti

Digital Cover Photography (DCP) is an increasingly popular tool for estimating canopy cover and leaf area index (LAI). However, existing solutions to process canopy images are predominantly tailored for fisheye photography, whereas open-access tools for DCP are lacking. We developed an R package (coveR) to support the whole processing of DCP images in an automated, fast and reproducible way. The package functions, which are designed for step-by-step single-image analysis, can be performed sequentially in a pipeline and also allow simple implementation of batch-processing bunches of images. A case study is presented to demonstrate the reliability of canopy attributes derived from coveR in pure beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) stands with variable canopy density and structure. Estimates of gap fraction and effective LAI from DCP were validated against reference measurements obtained from terrestrial laser scanning. By providing a simple, transparent and flexible image processing procedure, coveR supported the use of DCP for routine measurements and monitoring of forest canopy attributes. This, combined with the implementability of DCP in many devices, including smartphones, micro-cameras, and remote trail cameras, can greatly expand the accessibility of the method also to non-experts.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Edward Higgins ◽  
Thomas B. Parr ◽  
Caryn C. Vaughn

Microbiomes are increasingly recognized as widespread regulators of function from individual organism to ecosystem scales. However, the manner in which animals influence the structure and function of environmental microbiomes has received considerably less attention. Using a comparative field study, we investigated the relationship between freshwater mussel microbiomes and environmental microbiomes. We used two focal species of unionid mussels, Amblema plicata and Actinonaias ligamentina, with distinct behavioral and physiological characteristics. Mussel microbiomes, those of the shell and biodeposits, were less diverse than both surface and subsurface sediment microbiomes. Mussel abundance was a significant predictor of sediment microbial community composition, but mussel species richness was not. Our data suggest that local habitat conditions which change dynamically along streams, such as discharge, water turnover, and canopy cover, work in tandem to influence environmental microbial community assemblages at discreet rather than landscape scales. Further, mussel burrowing activity and mussel shells may provide habitat for microbial communities critical to nutrient cycling in these systems.

Donald J Brown ◽  
Lacy E. Rucker ◽  
Catherine Johnson ◽  
Shane Jones ◽  
Thomas K. Pauley

The Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative was formed to promote restoration of red spruce Picea rubens forests in Central Appalachia. One goal of the initiative is to increase availability and enhance quality of habitat for wildlife, including the threatened Cheat Mountain salamander Plethodon nettingi. The purpose of this research was to compare microhabitat characteristics between an occupied Cheat Mountain salamander site and early-stage spruce restoration sites, and between four occupied sites and proximal non-detection sites. We found that soil pH was higher and soil moisture was lower at spruce restoration sites compared to the occupied site, and that light intensity, sub-canopy air temperature, and ground-level air temperature were higher in spruce restoration prescriptions with reduced canopy cover. We found that soil moisture was higher at occupied sites compared to proximal non-detection sites, but soil pH was not significantly different. Our study suggests that Cheat Mountain salamanders are associated with low soil pH and high soil moisture, and thus spruce restoration could enhance habitat quality for this species in the long-term.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-14
Tianyu Yu ◽  
Wenjian Ni ◽  
Zhiyu Zhang ◽  
Qinhuo Liu ◽  
Guoqing Sun

Canopy cover is an important parameter affecting forest succession, carbon fluxes, and wildlife habitats. Several global maps with different spatial resolutions have been produced based on satellite images, but facing the deficiency of reliable references for accuracy assessments. The rapid development of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with consumer-grade camera enables the acquisition of high-resolution images at low cost, which provides the research community a promising tool to collect reference data. However, it is still a challenge to distinguish tree crowns and understory green vegetation based on the UAV-based true color images (RGB) due to the limited spectral information. In addition, the canopy height model (CHM) derived from photogrammetric point clouds has also been used to identify tree crowns but limited by the unavailability of understory terrain elevations. This study proposed a simple method to distinguish tree crowns and understories based on UAV visible images, which was referred to as BAMOS for convenience. The central idea of the BAMOS was the synergy of spectral information from digital orthophoto map (DOM) and structural information from digital surface model (DSM). Samples of canopy covers were produced by applying the BAMOS method on the UAV images collected at 77 sites with a size of about 1.0 km2 across Daxing’anling forested area in northeast of China. Results showed that canopy cover extracted by the BAMOS method was highly correlated to visually interpreted ones with correlation coefficient (r) of 0.96 and root mean square error (RMSE) of 5.7%. Then, the UAV-based canopy covers served as references for assessment of satellite-based maps, including MOD44B Version 6 Vegetation Continuous Fields (MODIS VCF), maps developed by the Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) and by the Global Land Analysis and Discovery laboratory (GLAD). Results showed that both GLAD and GLCF canopy covers could capture the dominant spatial patterns, but GLAD canopy cover tended to miss scattered trees in highly heterogeneous areas, and GLCF failed to capture non-tree areas. Most important of all, obvious underestimations with RMSE about 20% were easily observed in all satellite-based maps, although the temporal inconsistency with references might have some contributions.

Oecologia ◽  
2022 ◽  
Isaac R. Towers ◽  
David J. Merritt ◽  
Todd E. Erickson ◽  
Margaret M. Mayfield ◽  
John M. Dwyer

AbstractEnvironmentally cued germination may play an important role in promoting coexistence in Mediterranean annual plant systems if it causes niche differentiation across heterogeneous microsite conditions. In this study, we tested how microsite conditions experienced by seeds in the field and light conditions in the laboratory influenced germination in 12 common annual plant species occurring in the understorey of the York gum-jam woodlands in southwest Western Australia. Specifically, we hypothesized that if germination promotes spatial niche differentiation, then we should observe species-specific germination responses to light. In addition, we hypothesized that species’ laboratory germination response may depend on the microsite conditions experienced by seeds while buried. We tested the laboratory germination response of seeds under diurnally fluctuating light and complete darkness, which were collected from microsites spanning local-scale environmental gradients known to influence community structure in this system. We found that seeds of 6 out of the 12 focal species exhibited significant positive germination responses to light, but that the magnitude of these responses varied greatly with the relative light requirement for germination ranging from 0.51 to 0.86 for these species. In addition, germination increased significantly across a gradient of canopy cover for two species, but we found little evidence to suggest that species’ relative light requirement for germination varied depending on seed bank microsite conditions. Our results suggest that variability in light availability may promote coexistence in this system and that the microsite conditions seeds experience in the intra-growing season period can further nuance species germination behaviour.

2022 ◽  
pp. 1-9
L. N. Sharma ◽  
B. Adhikari ◽  
M. F. Watson ◽  
B. B. Shrestha ◽  
E. Paudel ◽  

Abstract Invasive alien species are a major threat to global biodiversity due to the tremendous ecological and economic damage they cause in forestry, agriculture, wetlands, and pastoral resources. Understanding the spatial pattern of invasive alien species and disentangling the biophysical drivers of invasion at the forest stand level is essential for managing forest ecosystems and the wider landscape. However, forest-level and species-specific information on Invasive Alien Plant Species (IAPS) abundance and their spatial extent are largely lacking. In this context, we analysed the cover of one of the world’s worst invasive plants, Chromolaena odorata, in Sal (Shorea robusta) forest in central Nepal. Vegetation was sampled in four community forests using 0.01 ha square quadrats, covering the forest edge to the interior. C. odorata cover, floral richness, tree density, forest canopy cover, shrub cover, tree basal area, and disturbances were measured in each plot. We also explored forest and IAPS management practices in community forests. C. odorata cover was negatively correlated with forest canopy cover, distance to the road, angle of slope, and shrub cover. Tree canopy cover had the largest effect on C. odorata cover. No pattern of C. odorata cover was seen along native species richness gradients. In conclusion, forest canopy cover is the overriding biotic covariate suppressing C. odorata cover in Sal forests.

2022 ◽  
Soumya Dasgupta ◽  
Tapajit Bhattacharya ◽  
Rahul Kaul

The relationship between various vegetation characteristics and the relative abundance of three hornbill species [Great Pied Hornbill (Buceros bicornis), Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) and Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)] was studied in and around Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh. We walked transects (n=11; 22 walks) in three study sites to detect hornbills. Vegetation sampling was done using circular plots (n=33; 10 m radius) at every 400m interval along each transect. Encounter rate (1.5/km) of Great Pied Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) was highest in the protected and undisturbed forest area where food and roosting tree density were also high (114/ha). Oriental Pied Hornbill was common in both the sites within Pakke Tiger reserve near riverine forests (0.75/km) and also in the dense undisturbed forest (0.875/km). Multivariate analysis revealed that tree density, presence of fruiting trees (utilized by hornbills), canopy cover, and tree diversity in a particular area are the major factors responsible for the assemblage of more than one species of hornbills. The study shows that protection of the forest patches to keep the diversity and density of the tree species intact is crucial for the survival and distribution of the hornbills in the landscape.

2022 ◽  
pp. 104-111
Robert A. York ◽  
Jacob Levine ◽  
Daniel Foster ◽  
Scott Stephens ◽  
Brandon Collins

A significant expansion of prescribed fire activity will be necessary to mitigate growing wildfire hazard in California forests. Forest managers can facilitate this expansion by promoting forest structures that allow for more effective implementation of prescribed fire, for both initial-entry and repeat burns. We analyzed changes in surface fuel during a series of three burns in replicated mixed-conifer stands following a period of over 100 years of fire suppression and exclusion. Total fuel load, proportion of pine present, canopy cover and basal area of live trees were relevant forest-structure components that influenced plot-scale fuel consumption. The study highlighted the importance of pre-fire fuel load and the relative proportion of pine in the overstory, which both led to greater amounts of fuel consumption. The initial-entry burn dramatically reduced all fuel categories (fine fuel, coarse wood and duff). Following each burn, fuel recovered until the next burn reduced loads enough to maintain low fuel levels. We apply the results to provide an example of how to determine the timing of prescribed fires.

2022 ◽  
Vol 88 (1) ◽  
pp. 29-38
Clement E. Akumu ◽  
Eze O. Amadi

The mapping of southern yellow pines (loblolly, shortleaf, and Virginia pines) is important to supporting forest inventory and the management of forest resources. The overall aim of this study was to examine the integration of Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI ) optical data with Sentinel-1 microwave C-band satellite data and vegetation indices in mapping the canopy cover of southern yellow pines. Specifically, this study assessed the overall mapping accuracies of the canopy cover classification of southern yellow pines derived using four data-integration scenarios: Landsat OLI alone; Landsat OLI and Sentinel-1; Landsat OLI with vegetation indices derived from satellite data—normalized difference vegetation index, soil-adjusted vegetation index, modified soil-adjusted vegetation index, transformed soil-adjusted vegetation index, and infrared percentage vegetation index; and 4) Landsat OLI with Sentinel-1 and vegetation indices. The results showed that the integration of Landsat OLI reflectance bands with Sentinel-1 backscattering coefficients and vegetation indices yielded the best overall classification accuracy, about 77%, and standalone Landsat OLI the weakest accuracy, approximately 67%. The findings in this study demonstrate that the addition of backscattering coefficients from Sentinel-1 and vegetation indices positively contributed to the mapping of southern yellow pines.

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