Skip to main content

Assessing model performance in forecasting long-term individual tree diameter versus basal area increment for the primary Acadian tree species

Buy Article:

$50.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Tree basal area (ba) or diameter at breast height (dbh) are universally used to represent tree secondary growth in individual tree based growth models. However, the long-term implications of using either ba or dbh for predictions are rarely fully assessed. In this analysis, Δba and Δdbh increment equations were fit to identical datasets gathered from six conifer and four hardwood species grown in central Maine. The performance of Δba and Δdbh predictions from nonlinear mixed-effects models were then compared with observed growth measurements of up to 29 years via a Monte Carlo simulation. Two evaluation statistics indicated substantial improvement in forecasting dbh using Δdbh rather than Δba. Root mean squared error (RMSE) and percentage mean absolute deviation (MAD%) were reduced by 14% and 15% on average, respectively, across all projection length intervals (5–29 years) when Δdbh was used over Δba. Differences were especially noted as projection lengths increased. RMSE and MAD% were reduced by 24% when Δdbh was employed over Δba at longer projection lengths (up to 29 years). Simulations found that simulating random effects rather than using local estimates for random effects performed as well or better at longer interval lengths. These results highlight the implications that selecting a growth model dependent variable can have and the importance of incorporating model uncertainty into the growth projections of individual tree based models.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1139/x11-139

Affiliations: 1: School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5755, USA. 2: University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B 6C2, Canada.

Publication date: 2011-12-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Sample Issue
  • Reprints & Permissions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more