100 Influential Papers - page 21

Anderson, M.C. (1964)
Studies of the woodland light climate. I. The
photographic computation of light conditions.
Journal of Ecology, 52, 27-41.
Light is one of the most strongly varying environmental
resources with major changes in light intensity occurring at
time-scales as short as fractions of seconds to as long as
days, months and seasons. The paper of Anderson (1964) has
greatly advanced the understanding of the variability of light
in plant communities and provided a methodology for light
estimation that is used extensively today. The paper introduced
the concepts of direct, diffuse and total site factor to describe
the percentage of light availability and demonstrated that
hemispheric photography can be reliably used to estimate all
these light components. As a method for getting snapshots of
canopy gap distributions, hemispherical photography has also
played a major role in the development of radiative transfer
theory for plant canopies. Furthermore, the study of Anderson
(1964) has served as a springboard for development of a
methodology for rapid optical estimations of vegetation leaf
area index used today by a huge community of plant canopy
researchers. Overall, the paper remains as a key reference
for anyone attempting to use hemispherical photography for
quantitative estimation of light availability in vegetation.
Ülo Niinemets
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ME AS UR EMENT OF P L ANT FORM , GROWTH AND
DECAY AND OF THE ENV I RONMENT
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