The Impact of Climate Change on Canopy Growth
Organization(s):West Haven High School
Student(s):Doneisha Coleman and Breyonnia Duggins
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
Report Type(s):Standard Research Report
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When discussing a forest biome, canopy refers to the upper layer or habitat zone, formed by mature tree crowns and including other biological organisms. The forest canopy is one of the chief determinants of the microhabitat within the forest. It affects plant growth and survival, hence determining the nature of the vegetation, and wildlife habitat. Canopy cover is usually measured visually from above on a percentage or an ordinal scale. An analogous measurement is used a lot in forestry. For example, each measurement point the forester looks vertically upwards and records whether or not the forest canopy obscures the sky. The proportion of points where the sky is obscured gives an estimate of forest canopy cover. A densitometer is used to measure the amount of light that penetrates the forest canopy. A simple densitometer is a device with a mirror apparatus inside that reflects the canopy above. The viewer sees a mirror image above, which allows him/her to estimate how much of the sky above is blocked by tree canopies. A heavy or dense canopy results in a small amount of available sunlight that reaches the forest floor.
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