Resource Details

Analysis of the "shelter tree-effect" of natural and exotic forest canopies on the growth of young Podocarpus falcatus trees in southern Ethiopia

Literature: Journal Articles

Strobl, S., Fetene, M. & Beck, E.H. 2011, "Analysis of the "shelter tree-effect" of natural and exotic forest canopies on the growth of young Podocarpus falcatus trees in southern Ethiopia", Trees, vol. 25, pp. 769-783.

Contact Info

Simone Stobl,



  • University of Bayreuth, Department of Plant Physiology and Bayreuth Centre for Ecology and Environmental Research (BAYCEER), Bayreuth, Germany


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Species Info

  • Podocarpus falcatus 
  • Pinus patula (Exotic)
  • Eucalyptus saligna (Exotic) 


  • This study examines the hypothesis that varying patterns of irradiance and different contributions of sun flecks to the total understory photosynthetic flux density (PAR) represent the main factors for the different performance of the P. falcatus saplings in the Munessa-Shashemene natural forest and exotic tree plantations.
  • Data on daily patterns of PAR and their effects on photosynthetic carbon dioxide uptake by the P. falcatus saplings and other environmental effects such as temperature and humidity were recorded for 2 years and finally correlated with the growth of the saplings.
  • The sites chosen in the natural forest was an area 50 m2 with 5 P. falcatus saplings (1.6 m-4.7m high and dbh between 1.6- 4.7cm) and in Pinus and Eucalyptus plantations 11 saplings on 80 m2 (1.9- 3.5 m high and dbh 1.7-4.4 cm) and 7 saplings on 140 m2 (1.8- 7.0 m high and dbh between 1.8-8.1 cm) respectively.
  • The 3 canopy densities differed considerably. The canopy of the natural forest was closed (99% coverage), whereas the crowns in the Eucalyptus (with 72% coverage) and the Pinus plantations (with 68% coverage) did not completely overlap. The canopy of the Eucalyptus had the highest LAI (4.4 ± 0.2) followed by the Pinus plantation was in between (3.8 ± 0.3) with the lowest LAI (3.2 ± 0.1) observed in the natural forest.
  • In conclusion, the results did not support the opinion of a detrimental effect of Pinus on the establishment and growth of P. falcatus. However, E. saligna had the greatest detrimental effect on P. falcatus saplings due to the two-tiered canopy lowering photosynthetic production. The natural forest had a moderately less detrimental effect on the saplings.

Geographical Region

  • East Africa
  • Country

  • Ethiopia
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