Leaf area index

Leaf area index (LAI) is a dimensionless value used to specify the area of assimilation of a plant by its leaf area  .

Flat leaves are considered to have one side; in conifers the total surface of a needle is counted. The values of LAI typically range from 0 for bare ground to 5 to 6 in broadleaved forests of the temperate zone and up to 10 for rainforests in the tropics. The index is able to determine primary production and thus is important for modelling the  balance, but also for estimating the influence of vegetation on run-off.

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