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The Effect of Nitrogen Fertilization, Rock Type, and Habitat Type on Individual Tree Mortality

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An individual tree mortality model for nitrogen fertilized Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca [Beissn.] Franco) stands was developed using data from permanent research plots located throughout the inland Northwest. The proposed linear logistic model included the following independent variables: a dummy variable for the two habitat types, a set of dummy variables for the five rock types, a set of dummy variables for the three N fertilizer treatments, diameter at breast height, crown ratio, and crown competition factor. The results show that N fertilization, rock type, and habitat type significantly affect individual tree mortality. The probabilities of tree mortality on fertilized plots were greater than those on control plots and increased with increasing N fertilizer application rates. Trees growing on granitic and metasedimentary rocks had lower foliar potassium concentration and exhibited greater probabilities of mortality than did those growing on other rocks. The probabilities of mortality for trees growing on sedimentary rocks were very low. Moist sites had lower soil fertility and produced higher mortality rates than dry sites. Furthermore, the N fertilization response ratio, defined as the annual mortality probability of a fertilized tree over the annual mortality probability of a unfertilized tree with identical tree and stand characteristics, was estimated based on the mortality model. The response ratios were nearly constant (about 1.4) across a range of tree diameters for all rock types with the 224 kg N treatment. The response ratios were also nearly constant (about 2.1) across a range of tree diameters for all rock types with the 448 kg N treatment. Finally, the mortality prediction model passed a validation test on independent data not used in model development. For. Sci. 47(2):203–213.

Keywords: Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca; environmental management; foliar potassium; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; logistic function; mortality prediction; natural resource management; natural resources; soil fertility

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Graduate Research Assistant Department of Forest Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, 83844-1133, Phone: (208) 885-3703 2: Professor Department of Forest Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, 83844-1133, Phone: (208) 885-7421 3: Dean College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, 83844-1138, Phone: (208) 885-6442; Fax: (208) 885-5534

Publication date: 2001-05-01

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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.

    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
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