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Long-term patterns of diameter and basal area growth of old-growth Douglas-fir trees in western Oregon

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Abstract:

Diameter growth and age data collected from stumps of 505 recently cut old-growth Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) trees at 28 sample locations in western Oregon (U.S.A.) indicated that rapid early and sustained growth of old Douglas-fir trees were extremely important in terms of attaining large diameters at ages 100–300 years. The diameters of the trees at ages 100–300 years (D100–D300) were strongly, positively, and linearly related to their diameters and basal area growth rates at age 50 years. Average periodic basal area increments (PAIBA) of all trees increased for the first 30–40 years and then plateaued, remaining relatively high and constant from age 50 to 300 years. Average PAIBA of the largest trees at ages 100–300 years were significantly greater by age 20 years than were those of smaller trees at ages 100–300 years. The site factors province, site class, slope, aspect, elevation, and establishment year accounted for little of the variation observed in basal area growth at age 50 years and D100–D300. The mean age range for old-growth Douglas-fir at the sample locations was wide (174 years). The hypothesis that large-diameter old-growth Douglas-fir developed at low stand densities was supported by these observations.

Des données d'âge et de croissance en diamètre collectées sur les souches de 505 vieux douglas de Menzies (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) récemment abattus à 28 endroits dans l'Ouest de l'Oregon, aux États-Unis, montrent qu'une croissance juvénile rapide et soutenue est extrêmement importante pour atteindre de forts diamètres à 100–300 ans. Le diamètre des arbres à 100–300 ans (D100–D300) est fortement, positivement et directement relié au taux de croissance en diamètre et en surface terrière à 50 ans. L'accroissement périodique moyen en surface terrière (APMST) de tous les arbres a augmenté pendant les premiers 30–40 ans et a plafonné par la suite, demeurant relativement élevé et constant de l'âge de 50 à 300 ans. La valeur moyenne de APMST des plus gros arbres de 100–300 ans était significativement plus élevée à 20 ans que celle des plus petits arbres de 100–300 ans. Les facteurs de station de la province, la classe de station, la pente, l'exposition, l'altitude et l'année d'établissement contribuent peu à la variation observée dans la croissance en surface terrière à 50 ans et à D100–D300. L'écart entre l'âge moyen (174 ans) des vieux douglas dans les endroits échantillonnés est important. L'hypothèse voulant que les vieux douglas de fort diamètre se soient développés dans des peuplements de faible densité est supportée par ces observations.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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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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