A forest canopy structure may be defined as the spatial distribution pattern of foliage density, and dynamics of canopy can be considered as changes of spatial distribution of foliage density. To study this process, the annual intrinsic growth factor (r) of foliage and the speed with which foliage shifts its position were estimated from shoot branching and shoot length. The spatial distributions of these parameters were obtained from a profile of evergreen broad-leaved forest.
r was large in the upper canopy layer and canopy gap; this indicated the active development of foliage. This phenomenon may be a major reason for the existence of dense foliage in the upper canopy. The speed with which foliage shifts its position was high in the canopy gap. For dominant species, light conditions affected positively on the distribution of r.
Forest Canopy structure Foliage density Population dynamics of foliage Light condition