Agricultural and forest meteorology vol:121 issue:1-2 pages:19-35
Rapid, reliable and objective estimations of leaf area index (LAI) are essential for numerous studies of atmosphere-vegetation interaction, as LAI is very often a critical parameter in process-based models of vegetation canopy response to global environmental change. This paper reviews current knowledge concerning the use of direct and indirect methods for LAI determination. The value of optical LAI measurements by means of hemispherical photography has already been demonstrated in previous studies. As clumping seems to be the main factor causing errors in indirect LAI estimation, we suggest that the use of a digital camera with high dynamic range has the potential to overcome a number of described technical problems related to indirect LAI estimation. Further testing and defining of a standardised field protocol for digital hemispherical photography is however needed to improve this technique to achieve the standards of an ideal device. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.