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Predicting External Branch Characteristics of Planted Silver Birch (Betula pendula Roth.) on the Basis of Routine Stand and Tree Measurements

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The aim of this study was to develop simultaneous models for external branch characteristics along the stem that could be applied as a part of a growth simulation system. Data were collected from planted pure stands of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) growing on abandoned agricultural land and forest sites of different fertility, with different stand density and age. The data were used to develop generalized linear variance component models for (1) crown ratio, (2) self-pruning ratio, i.e., height of the lowest dead branch divided by the height of the crown base, (3) number of living branches along the stem, (4) total number of branches, (5) diameter of the thickest branch, (6) diameters of smaller branches, and (7) branch angle. The independent variables of the models were restricted to those measured in forest inventories and used for forest management planning purposes. Even though there was bias in predicting some of the branch characteristics in the independent evaluation data set of silver birch, the behavior of the models was logical. No major additional bias was found when the models were applied to downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.). The models provide a framework for predicting the development of wood quality and the possibilities of using silvicultural treatments to control branch characteristics. FOR. SCI. 49(2):301–317.

Keywords: B. pubescens; Betula pendula; branchiness; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; stand density; wood quality

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18 Vantaa, Finland, FIN-01301, Phone: +358-01-2112323; Fax: +358-9-01-2112203 2: Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18 Vantaa, Finland, FIN-01301, Phone: +358-01-2112380 3: Finnish Forest Research Institute, Parkano Research Station, Kaironiementie 54, Parkano, Finland, FIN-39700, Phone: +358-01-2114067

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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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