%A Liu Qiang, Cai Erli, Zhang Jialin, Song Qiao, Li Xiuhong, Dou Baocheng
%T A Modification of the Finite-length Averaging Method in Measuring Leaf Area Index in Field
%0 Journal Article
%D 2018
%J Chinese Bulletin of Botany
%R 10.11983/CBB17083
%P 671-685
%V 53
%N 5
%U {https://www.chinbullbotany.com/CN/abstract/article_29413.shtml}
%8 2018-09-01
%X Measuring leaf area index (LAI) in the field is a common task in ecological and agricultural studies. There are direct and indirect methods for the task. One of the frequently used indirect methods is to acquire a digital photo of the vegetation canopy and extract the area ratio of green leaf, then simultaneously estimate LAI and clumping index with the finite-length averaging method proposed by Lang and Xiang (1986). However, the finite-length averaging method still needs improvement. For example, using Beer’s law for estimating leaf area in the sample’s line of finite length is theoretically incompatible with its basic assumption of heterogeneous canopy, resulting in over-estimation or even invalid value of the calculated LAI. Thus, this study proposed empirical formulas to replace Beer’s law in characterizing the relation between gap ration and LAI in the sample line (or sample square) based on computer simulations. The new formulas correct the shortcomings of over-estimation and instability of Beer’s law when the canopy is dense and the length of sample line (or sample square) is short. Then, the optimal setting for the length of sample line (or sample square) in a heterogeneous field is discussed: the length of 8 times an equivalent leaf length for sample line and 3 times an equivalent leaf length for a sample square were recommended in most cases of crop or grass scenes. As well, a sample square was superior to a sample line in applications estimating LAI of a heterogeneous field.