Canopy Gap Morphology Determinants in an Amazonian Rain Forest


canopy gaps
shape analysis
tropical rain forest

How to Cite

Salvador-Van Eysenrode, D., Bogaert, J., & Impens, I. (1999). Canopy Gap Morphology Determinants in an Amazonian Rain Forest. Selbyana, 20(2), 339–344. Retrieved from


Some features of forest elements making up canopy gaps, and their effects on gap size, shape, and orientation are analyzed. These characteristics, relevant for gap light regime and for ecological processes in gaps, are studied both at the field level and with the aid of digital hemispherical pictures. We found that the length of the gap starter element plays a crucial role in determining gap size. Gap shape-compactness and orientation are rather random results in gap creation. We suggest that gap size will vary among forests at different states of maturity and/or with different canopy heights, which may lead to differences in gap species composition and structure, and so affect their regrowth patterns.


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