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Building a dynamic growth model for trembling aspen in western Canada without age data

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A biologically inspired whole-stand growth and yield model was developed for even-aged thinned or unthinned stands dominated by trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.). The estimation used permanent sample plot data from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, supplemented by published site index and young stand information. An ingrowth imputation procedure was devised to facilitate the use of plot measurements where small trees are not measured. Two published site index models were closely approximated by a simple age-base invariant equation. Good parameter estimates for mortality and basal area growth were obtained without using age observations, which were unreliable or missing. Four differential equations describe the dynamics of top height, trees per hectare, basal area, and a site occupancy factor. Current values of these variables are used to estimate total and merchantable volumes up to any diameter limit and diameter distribution parameters. When an independent source of site quality estimates is available, the final model does not require stand age knowledge for making growth and yield predictions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC V2N 4Z9, Canada.

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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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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