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Self-Thinning and Stand Density

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Does the actual line of serf-thinning converge with the upper boundary of stand biomass in the course of stand development? This question is the source of continuing arguments about serf-thinning of forest stands. The relationship between average crown length and crown width can provide a solution to this question. If the lines diverge and horizontal canopy closure diminishes, then crown length would increase faster than crown width. Empirical data show that, indeed, the growth rate of crown length exceeds that of crown width. This fact indicates that the upper boundary of stand biomass is not the asymptote of self-thinning. Although the limiting line cannot be observed, it can be determined analytically. The notion of limiting density might be helpful in quantifying self-thinning, degree of disturbance, and stand density. For. Sci. 37(2):517-523.
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Keywords: Canopy closure; crown length and width; disturbance; gap dynamics; limiting density

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Forestry, Department of Forest Resources, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, Monticello, AR 71655

Publication date: 1991-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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