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Importance of Foliar Nitrogen Concentration to Predict Forest Productivity in the Mid-Atlantic Region

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To assess what difference it might make to include spatially defined estimates of foliar nitrogen in the regional application of a forest ecosystem model (PnET-II), we composed model predictions of wood production from extensive ground-based forest inventory analysis data across the Mid-Atlantic region. Spatial variation in foliar N concentration was assigned based on a correlation with mean July temperature for deciduous forests and with latitude for coniferous forests. Although the slight variation observed in foliar N in conifers had little effect on predicted wood production, large differences in N concentration in deciduous trees increased agreement with field surveys by 12–59% in individual states and by 17% across the region. The validation revealed the need to develop regional foliar N concentration equations that represent the spatial variations of N concentration in deciduous forests to improve PnET-II's predictions. FOR. SCI. 50(3):279–289.

Keywords: PnET-II; Wood production; ecosystem model; environmental management; forest; forest inventory and analysis data (FIA); forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; validation

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Forester Global Change Research, Newtown Square Corporate Campus USDA Forest Service 11 Campus Blvd., Suite Newtown Square PA 19073 Phone: (610) 557-4205;, Fax: (610) 557-4200, Email: 2: Deputy Program Manager Newtown Square Corporate Campus USDA Forest Service Newtown Square PA 19073 3: Visiting Assistant Professor Gund Institute for Ecological Economics University of Vermont Bington VT 05402 4: Program Manager Newtown Square Corporate Campus USDA Forest Service Newtown Square PA 19073

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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