Leaf area index (LAI) is defined as the one-sided area of leaves above a unit area of ground. It is a fundamental ecosystem parameter that is a required input of process-based plant growth and biogeochemical models. Direct measurement of LAI is the most accurate method, but is destructive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. LAI is highly variable in time and space on sagebrush-steppe rangelands, and a rapid, nondestructive method is desirable to understand ecosystem processes. The point-intercept method is nondestructive and has been demonstrated to provide accurate LAI estimates, but the method is time-consuming. LAI measurement with the Accupar ceptometer (Decagon Devices, Pullman, WA) is nondestructive and faster than the point-intercept method, but has not been evaluated on sagebrush-steppe rangelands. The objective of this study was to evaluate the ceptometer for measurement of LAI in sagebrush-steppe rangelands. Ceptometer and point-intercept LAI data were collected at six sites in sagebrush-steppe rangelands and the values were compared. We found that 1) ceptometer LAI data were consistently greater than point-intercept LAI data, 2) ceptometer data were much more variable than the point-intercept data based on standard deviations, and 3) the overall correlation between the two methods was very weak (r2 = 0.15). The much greater ceptometer LAI values were, at least partly, due to the large woody component of the vegetative cover. We attribute the high variability of ceptometer-measured LAI to high instrument sensitivity of the angle of the instrument relative to the sun.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 65 • No. 2