Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Michael A. Battaglia; Pu Mou; Brian Palik; Robert J. Mitchell
    Date: 2002
    Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 32: 1984-1991.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (289.72 KB)


    Spatial aggregation of forest structure strongly regulates understory light and its spatial variation in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forest ecosystems. Previous studies have demonstrated that light availability strongly influences longleaf pine seedling growth. In this study, the relationship between spatial structure of a longleaf pine forest and spatial pattern of understory light availability were investigated by comparing three retention harvest treatments: singe-tree, small-group, large-group, and an uncut control. The harvests retained similar residaul basal area but the spatial patterns of the residual trees differed. Hemispherical photographs were taken at 300 stations to calculate gap light index (GLI), an estimate of understory light availability. Stand-level mean, variation, and spatial distribution of GLI were determined for each treatment. By aggregating residual trees, stand mean GLI increased by 20%, as well as its spatial variation. Spatial autocorrelation of GLI increased as the size of the canopy gaps increased and the gaps were better defined; thus, the predictability of GLI was enhanced. The ranges of detrended semivariograms were increased from the control to the large-group harvest indicating the spatial patterns of understory GLI became coarser textured. Our results demonstrated that aggregated canopy structure of longleaf pine forest will facilitate longleaf pine seedling regeneration.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Battaglia, Michael A.; Mou, Pu; Palik, Brian; Mitchell, Robert J. 2002. The effect of spatially variable overstory on the understory light environment of an open-canopied longleaf pine forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 32: 1984-1991.


    Google Scholar


    longleaf pine, Pinus palustris, gap light index (GLI)

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page