Solar Radiation as a Driver for Growth and Competition in Forest Stands

  • M. LeuchnerEmail author
  • C. Hertel
  • T. Rötzer
  • T. Seifert
  • R. Weigt
  • H. Werner
  • A. Menzel
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 220)


This chapter describes the spatial and temporal variability of biologically important wavebands of solar radiation as crucial drivers for growth and competition in forest ecosystems. Fundamental differences between beech and spruce in the penetration of radiation are mainly due to the different morphological crown habit. Thus, the dense upper beech canopy absorbs most of the incoming radiation in the very top layer, while more radiation can penetrate into the spruce canopy. In addition to the habit, reflectance properties play important roles for the spectral composition. Spruce exhibits higher levels of the blue/red ratio throughout the canopy. Only a small number of sunflecks can be observed in the shade crown of both species. A model scenario shows the level of light enhancement and the alteration of the spectral composition in a clearing. Phenological phases such as leaf unfolding and leaf fall can be estimated well by the red/far red ratio.


Leaf Area Index Specific Leaf Area Spectral Ratio European Beech Incoming Radiation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Leuchner
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Hertel
    • 1
  • T. Rötzer
    • 2
  • T. Seifert
    • 3
  • R. Weigt
    • 4
  • H. Werner
    • 1
  • A. Menzel
    • 1
  1. 1.EcoclimatologyTechnische Universität MünchenFreisingGermany
  2. 2.Chair of Forest Growth and Yield ScienceTechnische Universität MünchenFreisingGermany
  3. 3.Forest and Wood ScienceStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa
  4. 4.Organismic Biology: MycologyLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchenGermany

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