Balsam fir self-thinning relationship and its constancy among different ecological regions

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Abstract:

The constancy of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) self-thinning relationship has been investigated among four study areas located in different ecological regions of Quebec's humid boreal forest. These four study areas contained respectively 348, 252, 146, and 55 observations (plots × measures) sampled over a period of up to 40 years. A self-thinning fitting method was developed to position objectively the self-thinning lines but, moreover, to allow comparisons among the different study areas. This method relies on principal component analysis to estimate the self-thinning line parameters and on the "jackknife" procedure to provide a standard error of these estimates. Results demonstrate a concordance for the slope (p = 0.136) and the intercept (p = 0.148) among self-thinning relationships of those study areas. The combination of these four study areas in one large data set, to provide a general estimation of balsam fir self-thinning line, has given a slope of –1.441 with a 4.114 intercept which is in agreement with the –3/2 power law of self-thinning. In this study, this law was able to describe the size–density relationship of stands of various ages and growing within different conditions as expressed by the different ecological regions.

La constance de la relation de l'éclaircie naturelle du sapin baumier (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) a été étudiée dans quatre dispositifs situés dans différentes régions écologiques de la sapinière boréale humide québécoise. Les quatre dispositifs en question comptaient respectivement 348, 252, 146 et 55 observations (parcelles × mesures) échantillonnées sur une période allant jusqu'à 40 ans. Une méthode de positionnement a été développée afin de positionner objectivement les droites de l'éclaircie naturelle et surtout d'en permettre la comparaison entre dispositifs. Cette méthode repose sur l'analyse en composantes principales pour l'estimation des paramètres de la droite et utilise la technique du canif afin de fournir une erreur-type associée à ces estimations. Les résultats démontrent une concordance, pour la pente (p = 0,136) et l'ordonnée à l'origine (p = 0,148), de la relation de l'éclaircie naturelle entre les différents dispositifs. Le regroupement des quatre dispositifs en un seul, en vue d'estimer la droite de l'éclaircie naturelle générale du sapin baumier, a fourni une pente de –1,441 et une ordonnée de 4,114. Ces valeurs correspondent à la relation à la puissance –3/2 de de l'éclaircie naturelle. Dans cette étude, la relation à la puissance –3/2 de l'éclaircie naturelle s'est avérée efficace pour décrire la relation dimension–densité de peuplements d'âges différents croissant dans des conditions différentes, telles qu'exprimées ici par les différentes régions écologiques.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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