Magnitude of LAI across the World

Biomes are major biogeographic regions consisting of distinctive plant life forms (e.g., forest, grasslands, desert, etc.). LAI ranges from 1.3 ± 0.9 for deserts to 8.7 ± 4.3 for tree plantations, and up to 20 depending on the biome. Temperate evergreen forest (needle leaf and broadleaf) displays the highest average LAI (5.1-6.7) out of the natural terrestrial vegetation classes (Figure 1). Biomes with the highest LAI values are tree plantations, temperate evergreen forests, and wetlands. Exceptionally high values have been reported for hybrid poplars grown under intensive culture which could develop LAI values of 16-45, depending on the tree spacing. Those with the lowest LAI values are deserts, grasslands, and tundra.

Figure 1 Mean LAI (+/- standard deviation) of biomes and cover types. Data from Scurlock J MO, Asner GP, and Gower ST (2001) Worldwide Historical Estimates and Bibliography of Leaf Area Index, 1932-2000. ORNL Technical Memorandum TM-2001/268.0ak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Global Leaf Area Index Data from Field Measurements, 1932-2000. Data set available online (http://daac.ornl.gov) from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.

Figure 1 Mean LAI (+/- standard deviation) of biomes and cover types. Data from Scurlock J MO, Asner GP, and Gower ST (2001) Worldwide Historical Estimates and Bibliography of Leaf Area Index, 1932-2000. ORNL Technical Memorandum TM-2001/268.0ak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Global Leaf Area Index Data from Field Measurements, 1932-2000. Data set available online (http://daac.ornl.gov) from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.

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