canopy gaps
canopy biology
canopy glades
East Africa

How to Cite

Young, T. P. (1995). LANDSCAPE MOSAICS CREATED BY CANOPY GAPS, FOREST EDGES AND BUSHLAND GLADES. Selbyana, 16(2), 127–134. Retrieved from


The effects of canopy gaps on forest understory communities are well documented. However, there has been almost no documentation of the effects of gaps on the canopies themselves. Recent research has shown that portions of crowns adjacent to gaps undergo rapid growth, implying an increase in available carbohydrate (due to increased sunlight). It is reasonable to hypothesize that this would also lead to increases in flowering, fruiting, and epiphytic growth in these same crown portions. Limited data from a temperate forest presented here suggest that this is true. If so, gap-edge tree crowns could be hot spots of resource availability for folivores, floral visitors, frugivores, epiphytes, and associates of these species. As yet we have no documentation of these hot spots or how deeply their effects penetrate into the adjacent parts of the canopy. Because of limited access, canopy biology has concentrated on the vertical dimension, but studies in the horizontal dimension are equally important. Using examples from 'gaps' (glades) in an acacia bushland in East Africa and terrestrial temperate forest edges, I show how similar landscape mosaics have highly variable effects on the community, depending on the traits considered. I then consider parallels with forest canopy gaps, and possibilities for future research.


Open Access and Copyright Notice


Selbyana is committed to real and immediate open access for academic work. All of Selbyana's articles and reviews are free to access immediately upon publication. There are no author charges (APCs) prior to publication, and no charges for readers to download articles and reviews for their own scholarly use.  To facilitate this, Selbyana depends on the financial backing of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the hard work and dedication of its editorial team and advisory board, and the continuing support of its network of peer reviewers and partner institutions.

Authors are free to choose which open license they would like to use for their work. Our default license is the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). While Selbyana’s articles can be copied by anyone for noncommercial purposes if proper credit is given, all materials are published under an open-access license with authors retaining full and permanent ownership of their work. The author grants Selbyana a perpetual, non-exclusive right to publish the work and to include it in other aggregations and indexes to achieve broader impact and visibility.

Authors are responsible for and required to ascertain that they are in possession of image rights for any and all photographs, illustrations, and figures included in their work or to obtain publication or reproduction rights from the rights holders. Contents of the journal will be registered with the Directory of Open Access Journals and similar repositories. Authors are encouraged to store their work elsewhere, for instance in institutional repositories or personal websites, including commercial sites such as, to increase circulation (see The Effects of Open Access).