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Dynamic Treatment Units in Eucalyptus Plantation

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The purpose of this study was to test airborne laser scanning-based forest inventory and the use of dynamic treatment units in eucalyptus plantations. Dynamic treatment units are formed by spatial optimization, which aggregates small inventory units. The hypothesis is that the use of dynamic treatment units increases yield and improves the efficiency of forest use. Forest inventory based on airborne laser scanning provides data for small units, which must be aggregated into feasible treatment units. The study area was a Eucalyptus pulpwood plantation in Brazil. Mixed-effects models were constructed for the basal area and dominant height using an area-based method. The plot-level estimates of growing stock characteristics were more accurate than those obtained for the stand level in many previous studies. The study area was divided into hexagons of 300 m2 for which the growing stock characteristics were estimated. A growth simulator was used to produce treatment schedules for the hexagons by varying the rotation length. The production potential of the planning area was examined by maximizing the growing stock volume at the end of the planning period with varying degrees of cutting area aggregation, with an even-flow cutting target for every 1-year period. The use of dynamic treatment units always increased the total volume production, i.e., the sum of harvested and ending volume. Cutting areas formed by spatial optimization often deviated from compartment boundaries.

Keywords: airborne laser scanning; forest inventory; forest planning; spatial optimization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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