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A Generalized Methodology for Developing Whole-Stand Survival Models

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A large source of variability in yield predictions is due to estimation of future surviving trees per unit area. Previous whole-stand survival modeling efforts have concentrated on modeling the empirical survival curve. Modeling hazard functions, an approach to survival analysis commonly used in fields such as medicine and sociology, can be applicable to plantation survival estimation. We offer a generalized method for deriving whole-stand survival models that are capable of modeling complex underlying hazard functions. We use our knowledge of the empirical hazard function to limit our selection to appropriate functions. Integrating selected functions results in initial condition difference equations that, when fitted to our data, provide biologically reasonable whole-stand survival predictions and adequately represent the underlying hazard function. Our method is relatively easy to implement and can model a whole-stand survival curve with a complex underlying hazard function. FOR. SCI. 50(5):686–695.

Keywords: Survival analysis; differential equation; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; hazard function; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Mathematical Statistician/Epidemiologist Anthrax Vaccine Safety Team BVPDB/ESD/NIP/CDC 1600 Clifton Rd., Mailstop E-61 Atlanta GA 30333 Phone: (404) 639-3028;, Fax: (404) 639-2483, Email: 2: Professor Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources University of Georgia Athens Georgia 30602 Phone: (706) 542-5448, Email: 3: Professor Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources University of Georgia Athens Georgia 30602 Phone: (706) 542-3009, Email: 4: Associate Professor Department of Statistics University of Georgia Athens Georgia 30602-1952 Phone: (706) 542-3302, Email: 5: Professor Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources University of Georgia Athens Georgia 30602 Phone: (706) 542-6205, Email:

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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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