Understanding 3D structural complexity of individual Scots pine trees
with different management history
Tree functional traits together with processes such as forest
regeneration, growth, and mortality affect forest and tree structure.
Forest management inherently impacts these processes. Moreover, forest
structure, biodiversity, resilience, and carbon uptake can be sustained
and enhanced with forest management activities. To assess structural
complexity of individual trees, comprehensive and quantitative measures
are needed, and they are often lacking for current forest management
practices. Here, we utilized 3D information from individual Scots pine
(Pinus sylvestris L.) trees obtained with terrestrial laser scanning
(TLS) to first, assess effects of forest management on structural
complexity of individual trees, and second, understand relationship
between several tree attributes and structural complexity. We studied
structural complexity of individual trees represented by a single scale
independent metric called “box dimension”. This study aimed at
identifying drivers affecting structural complexity of individual Scots
pine trees in boreal forest conditions. The results showed that thinning
increased structural complexity of individual Scots pine trees.
Furthermore, we found a relationship between structural complexity and
stem and crown size and shape as well as tree growth. Thus, it can be
concluded that forest management affected structural complexity of
individual Scots pine trees in managed boreal forests, and stem, crown,
and growth attributes were identified as drivers of it.