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Estimating Wood Volume of the Stem and Branches of Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) Using a Stem Profile Model with Implicit Height

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A taper model-based solution for estimating volume of wood in sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) in Ontario, Canada, is presented. This practical procedure, using a reformulated version of the 1999 taper model of Zakrzewski, requires measuring only dbh and produces estimates of commercial wood volume allocated in stems and (or) branches, along tree length. The suggested methodology allows tree height to be treated as an implicit variable: either unobserved or unobservable (latent). Using the dbh-based taper model, a standard height/dbh curve may be generated without height measurements. The methodology presented here may be also treated as a modeling framework for developing dbh-based biomass equations as well as for investigating spatial allocation of wood within trees, e.g., for studying the influence of the competitive environment (forest stand density) of a tree on height growth. Sample data used were measurements from 1,113 sugar maple trees from Ontario's Algonquin region.

Keywords: branches; form-free taper model; implicit heights; stem; sugar maple; wood volume

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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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.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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