Trembling aspen site index in relation to environmental measures of site quality at two spatial scales

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To evaluate the variation in trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) productivity at a large geographic scale, we examined the relationships between site index and environmental factors from 142 even-aged, fully stocked stands located on a variety of sites across interior British Columbia. Site index was derived from stem analysis and the environmental measures included climate surrogates (latitude, longitude, and elevation), biogeoclimatic zone, slope– aspect, actual soil moisture regime (SMR), and soil nutrient regime (SNR). The spatial gradients (latitude, longitude, and elevation), slope–aspect, SMR, and SNR affected aspen site index, but their relationships greatly varied with biogeoclimatic zone. At the provincial scale, these relationships were weaker than on the zonal scale. Among the models developed for predicting aspen site index, we recommend the zone-specific all-factor model for application, which explained 82% of the variation of site index and provided unbiased and precise predictions.

Nous avons examiné les relations entre l'indice de station et les facteurs environnementaux dans 142 peuplements équiennes de densité relative adéquate situés sur une variété de sites dans toute la zone intérieure de la Colombie-Britannique afin d'évaluer la variation dans la productivité du peuplier faux-tremble (Populus tremuloides Michx.) sur une vaste échelle géographique. L'indice de station a été obtenu par l'analyse de tige et les mesures environnementales incluaient des variables représentatives du climat (latitude, longitude et altitude), la zone biogéoclimatique, l'orientation de la pente, le régime hydrique du sol et le régime nutritif du sol. Les gradients spatiaux (latitude, longitude et altitude), l'orientation de la pente, le régime hydrique du sol et le régime nutritif du sol influencent l'indice de station du peuplier, mais leurs relations varient grandement selon la zone biogéoclimatique. À l'échelle de la province, ces relations sont plus faibles qu'à l'échelle des zones. Parmi les modèles qui ont été développés pour prédire l'indice de station du peuplier, nous recommandons en pratique le modèle spécifique à chaque zone qui tient compte de tous les facteurs. Ce modèle explique 82% de la variation dans l'indice de station et génère des prédictions précises et non biaisées.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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