11 September 2015

"Crown shyness" explained


I recently encountered the term "crown shyness."
Crown shyness is a phenomenon observed in some tree species, in which the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other, forming a canopy with channel-like gaps. It is also known as canopy disengagement, canopy shyness, or intercrown spacing.
The term was new to me, but the concept was not; it's quite readily observable by anyone who spends a significant amount of time in the woods.  What did surprise me was the notion that the cause of this phenomenon is unknown; I had always assumed it was a manifestation of contact inhibition of growth. Apparently it's not so simple.

Photo credit.

1 comment:

  1. next time i go for a walk in the deep woods, i will have to look up. i usually look down, looking for mushrooms, seeing deer poops, and watching where i am going so i don't stumble and trip.

    I-)

    ReplyDelete

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