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Evaluation of Competition Indices in Individual Tree Growth Models

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In this paper we explore how well distance-independent competition measures explain variation in the height and diameter squared growth of individual conifer trees. We investigated a number of stand-level density indices and individual tree competition indices which incorporate tree sizes, but do not include location. We model growth of individual trees as potential growth reduced by competition. The reduction in mean square error relative to no competition index was used to judge performance of each competition index which varies by species and growth component (height or diameter squared growth). Results are summarized by species and type of competition index. The distance-independent measures are also compared to selected distance-dependent measures shown in recent research work to perform well for conifer species. It was found that a new class of distance-independent indices that includes estimated crown parameters performs on par with the best distance-dependent competition indices when used in conjunction with models of individual tree height and diameter squared growth. For. Sci. 41(2):360-377.
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Keywords: Growth and yield; competition index; growing space; resource partitioning

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Post Graduate Researcher, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf, Switzerland

Publication date: 1995-05-01

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  • 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
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