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Assessing Performance of Leaf Area Index in a Monitored Mountain Ecosystem on Mount Elgon-Uganda

Assessing Performance of Leaf Area Index in a Monitored Mountain Ecosystem on Mount Elgon-Uganda
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Author(s): Tonny Oyana (The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, USA), Ellen Kayendeke (Makerere University, Uganda) and Samuel Adu-Prah (Sam Houston State University, USA)
Copyright: 2019
Pages: 18
Source title: Environmental Information Systems: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7033-2.ch034

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Abstract

This study investigated the performance of leaf area index (LAI) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) in a mountain ecosystem. The authors hypothesized that significant spatial and temporal differences exist in LAI and PAR values in the Manafwa catchment on Mt. Elgon. This was accomplished through field measurements of actual LAI and PAR values of diverse vegetation types along a ~900m altitudinal gradient (1141–2029 masl) in the catchment. In-situ measurements were obtained from 841 micro-scale study plots in 28 sampling plots using high resolution LAI sensors. The findings showed a significant positive relationship exists between elevation and observed LAI (r = 0.45, p = 0.01). A regression model further shows that elevation and curvature of the landscape slope were highly significant (p < 0.00002) predictors of LAI. Finally, the authors detected significant spatial and temporal differences in LAI and PAR values in the study area. The study provides a critical basis for setting up long-term monitoring plans to understand mountain ecosystems and global climate change.

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