Architectural traits of trees in response to different neighborhoods and their importance for stand structural characteristics
PhD studentAlice Penanhoat
Research OutlineThe main objective of this subproject is to quantify the effects of tree species mixture on single-tree architectural traits of beech, Norway spruce and Douglas-fir trees (e.g. symmetry, branching pattern, fractal characteristics, crown surface area) and how they determine the overall stand characteristics, such as space occupation or stand structural complexity. The assumption is that mixed neighborhoods will have a greater variability in crown shapes due to the genetically different tree forms of different species. The latter result in more divers spatial niche occupation pattern and greater variability in light availability in the understory, as well as greater variability in competition pressure in mixed stands when compared to pure stands. This will in turn lead to less regular tree architectures and greater variability in tree architectural traits.
Additionally, relationships between tree crown architecture and stem properties and whether they change in different stand types (mixture vs. pure) will be addressed.”