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Exploring the Error Structure of Taper Equations

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Much work has been done fitting taper equations to specific tree bole shapes, but few researchers have investigated what effect the correlated error structure has on the fit of a taper equation. The Max and Burkhart (1976) taper equation was used in conjunction with a number of equations which modeled the covariance structures. The equations proposed were continuously differentiable, which simplifies the fitting process, and selected to minimize the number of parameters. A maximum likelihood method was proposed to fit these equations and test the statistical significance of the correlated errors. Accounting for the correlated errors structure in the equation fitting process significantly improved fit. Tests showed a small, but significant, bias of 1.05% (± 0.143%) when the correlated errors were ignored. For. Sci. 43(3):378-386.

Keywords: Bias; correlated errors; covariance

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Forest Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80526-2098; Phone: 970-491-6980

Publication date: 1997-08-01

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 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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