Evaluating the effects of forest management on development of canopy structural complexity and light use efficiency

Project Overview
Research Core Areas: 
Project Abstract: 
Canopy structural complexity is an important functional aspect of forest ecosystems that helps drive light use efficiency and productivity. Canopy structure is also an important determinant of resilience to various types of disturbance, including wind and ice storms. Although recent work has begun to illustrate linkages between canopy structural complexity and functioning in forests, the effects that forest management practices can have on canopy structure and linkages with light use efficiency and productivity are largely unknown. Traditional silvicultural practices may reduce complexity in forests, while recently developed management treatments focused on ecological or resilience objectives may have more positive impacts. The proposed project will quantify the effects of traditional forest management regimes and ecologically-focused treatments on canopy structural complexity and light use efficiency in eastern hardwood forests. This information will be useful in understanding potential consequences of management decisions on forest structure, function, and resiliency. Results will also be useful in designing management treatments explicitly focused on promoting canopy structural complexity and light use efficiency in eastern hardwood forests.
Investigator Info
Investigators: 
Funding agency: 
USDA McIntire-Stennis Formula Fund
Years research project active: 
2018