1. The layer of a forest or a woodland that is below the emergent layer and above the understory layer. Its purpose is to act as a shield protecting the layers below, but also absorbing the most amount sunlight for photosynthesis. The tallest, most mature trees can form the canopy and the leaves of species such as beech are so effectively intertwined and angled to catch the maximum amount of light, that they cast a very dense shade. This allows few plants to survive underneath. Ash, by contrast, with its finely divided leaves, allows more light through to the woodland floor, so that layers are more likely to develop.
Created: 2019-07-09 19:26:26 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2019-08-24 17:20:19 CDT (-0400)