Gap Fraction Estimates over Selectively Logged Forests in Western Amazon


Gap fraction is a biophysical variable related to energy balance, forest fauna, micro-climate and regeneration, and is an important indicator of forest management quality. The objective of this study was to compare gap fraction estimates from undisturbed forests and different environments or strata of selectively logged areas. Moreover, gap fraction measurements were collected with two distinct instruments (optical canopy analyzer LAI-2000 and hemispherical photographs). Field data were collected from two sustainable forest management sites at Jamari National Forest, Rondonia State, Brazilian Amazon. Our results indicated significant differences between data acquired using these two instruments. For instance, the LAI-2000 data showed greater variation for each environment compared to hemispherical photographics data, and the data were also more sensitive to the increase in gap fraction. Small variations were found in the gap fraction means for the two study areas, and only data for the undisturbed area were significantly different. A gradient of increasing gap fraction that ranged from primary forests to log decks was observed. Furthermore, a multiple linear regression analysis determined the contribution of the selectively logged environments to decreased forest cover, confirming the observed gradient.

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Pinagé, E. , Matricardi, E. , Osako, L. and Gomes, A. (2014) Gap Fraction Estimates over Selectively Logged Forests in Western Amazon. Natural Resources, 5, 969-980. doi: 10.4236/nr.2014.516083.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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