van Wijk Mark T.

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van Wijk
First Name
Mark T.

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Article
    Optical instruments for measuring leaf area index in low vegetation : application in Arctic ecosystems
    (Ecological Society of America, 2005-08) van Wijk, Mark T. ; Williams, Mathew
    Leaf area index (LAI) is a powerful diagnostic of plant productivity. Despite the fact that many methods have been developed to quantify LAI, both directly and indirectly, leaf area index remains difficult to quantify accurately, owing to large spatial and temporal variability. The gap-fraction technique is widely used to estimate the LAI indirectly. However, for low-stature vegetation, the gap-fraction sensor either cannot get totally underneath the plant canopy, thereby missing part of the leaf area present, or is too close to the individual leaves of the canopy, which leads to a large distortion of the LAI estimate. We set out to develop a methodology for easy and accurate nondestructive assessment of the variability of LAI in low-stature vegetation. We developed and tested the methodology in an arctic landscape close to Abisko, Sweden. The LAI of arctic vegetation could be estimated accurately and rapidly by combining field measurements of canopy reflectance (NDVI) and light penetration through the canopy (gap-fraction analysis using a LI-COR LAI-2000). By combining the two methodologies, the limitations of each could be circumvented, and a significantly increased accuracy of the LAI estimates was obtained. The combination of an NDVI sensor for sparser vegetation and a LAI-2000 for denser vegetation could explain 81% of the variance of LAI measured by destructive harvest. We used the method to quantify the spatial variability and the associated uncertainty of leaf area index in a small catchment area.
  • Preprint
    Tight coupling between leaf area index and foliage N content in arctic plant communities
    ( 2004-09-17) van Wijk, Mark T. ; Williams, Mathew ; Shaver, Gaius R.
    The large spatial heterogeneity of arctic landscapes complicates efforts to quantify key processes of these ecosystems, for example productivity, at the landscape level. Robust relationships that help to simplify and explain observed patterns, are thus powerful tools for understanding and predicting vegetation distribution and dynamics. Here we present the same linear relationship between leaf area index and total foliar nitrogen, the two factors determining the photosynthetic capacity of vegetation, across a wide range of tundra vegetation types in both Northern-Sweden and Alaska between leaf area indices of 0 and 1 m2 m-2, which is essentially the entire range of leaf area index values for the Arctic as a whole. Surprisingly, this simple relationship arises as an emergent property at the plant community level, whereas at the species level a large variability in leaf traits exists. As the relationship between LAI and foliar N exists among such varied ecosystems, the arctic environment must impose tight constraints on vegetation canopy development. This relationship simplifies the quantification of vegetation productivity of arctic vegetation types as the two most important drivers of productivity can now be estimated reliably from remotely sensed NDVI images.
  • Preprint
    Incident radiation and the allocation of nitrogen within Arctic plant canopies : implications for predicting gross primary productivity
    ( 2012-01) Street, Lorna E. ; Shaver, Gaius R. ; Rastetter, Edward B. ; van Wijk, Mark T. ; Kaye, Brooke A. ; Williams, Mathew
    Arctic vegetation is characterized by high spatial variability in plant functional type (PFT) composition and gross primary productivity (P). Despite this variability, the two main drivers of P in sub-Arctic tundra are leaf area index (LT) and total foliar nitrogen (NT). LT and NT have been shown to be tightly coupled across PFTs in sub-Arctic tundra vegetation, which simplifies up-scaling by allowing quantification of the main drivers of P from remotely sensed LT. Our objective was to test the LT–NT relationship across multiple Arctic latitudes and to assess LT as a predictor of P for the pan-Arctic. Including PFT-specific parameters in models of LT–NT coupling provided only incremental improvements in model fit, but significant improvements were gained from including site-specific parameters. The degree of curvature in the LT–NT relationship, controlled by a fitted canopy nitrogen extinction co-efficient, was negatively related to average levels of diffuse radiation at a site. This is consistent with theoretical predictions of more uniform vertical canopy N distributions under diffuse light conditions. Higher latitude sites had higher average leaf N content by mass (NM), and we show for the first time that LT–NT coupling is achieved across latitudes via canopy-scale trade-offs between NM and leaf mass per unit leaf area (LM). Site-specific parameters provided small but significant improvements in models of P based on LT and moss cover. Our results suggest that differences in LT–NT coupling between sites could be used to improve pan-Arctic models of P and we provide unique evidence that prevailing radiation conditions can significantly affect N allocation over regional scales.
  • Preprint
    The contribution of mosses to the carbon and water exchange of arctic ecosystems : quantification and relationships with system properties
    ( 2007-05-15) Douma, J. C. ; van Wijk, Mark T. ; Lang, S. I. ; Shaver, Gaius R.
    Water vapour and CO2 exchange were measured in moss dominated vegetation using a gas analyzer and a 1 m by 1 m chamber at 17 sites near Abisko, Northern Sweden and 21 sites near Longyearbyen, Svalbard, to quantify the contribution of mosses to ecosystem level fluxes. With the help of a simple light-response model we showed that the moss contribution to ecosystem carbon uptake varied between 14 and 96%, with an average contribution of around 60%. This moss contribution could be related to the NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) of the vegetation and the leaf area index (LAI) of the vascular plants. NDVI was a good predictor of gross primary production (GPP) of mosses and of the whole ecosystem, across different moss species, vegetation types and two different latitudes. NDVI was also correlated with thickness of the active green moss layer. Mosses played an important role in water exchange. They are expected to be most important to gas exchange during spring when leaves are not fully developed.