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A Parsimonious Dynamic Stand Model for Interior Spruce in British Columbia

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A whole-stand growth model, Scube, was developed for spruce-dominated, even-aged, natural and planted stands, using permanent sample plot data from the sub-boreal spruce biogeoclimatic zone of British Columbia, Canada. Available data were limited, with no information on mature planted stands or thinning treatments. A parsimonious model design, incorporating knowledge of stand dynamics and experience from other forests, made possible a logical reproduction of observed behavior and plausible extrapolations to other conditions. Scube consists of a system of four differential equations, describing the evolution of four state variables: top height, trees per hectare, basal area, and a stand closure indicator. Concepts of closure and site occupancy drive the behavior of young stands and the response to thinning. Parameters were estimated through numerical optimization of several residual functions, reflecting different projection interval types and weighting strategies. Differences in estimates among the various criteria were small. Calculations are facilitated through expressions that remain invariant in the absence of disturbances. The methods generalize the algebraic difference approach and related forest modeling techniques, linking them to standard dynamical systems theory.
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Keywords: Canada; algebraic difference equations; growth and yield; state-space; system dynamics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2011

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