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A Parsimonious Number of Growth Curves

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Construction of new site index curves is often justified by a lack of growth information for a given species and site. This justification presumes that there is a one-to-one correspondence between growth pattern and stand conditions which are determined by numerous genetic and ecological factors together with their complex interactions. Because these factors are combined in an infinite number of ways, each stand is unique and needs its own site index curve. The effort required for collecting growth information would be prohibitive. This effort is also unnecessary because many existing curves coincide with each other and are, therefore, redundant. Differences in species, site, and construction methods do not prevent the appearance of the same growth patterns. These facts indicate that unique growth conditions do not mean that each stand has a unique growth pattern. Therefore, a more productive approach to growth modeling consists of distilling these patterns from existing curves and yield tables rather than piling up more new site index curves. Earlier investigations showed that the diversity in growth curves can be reduced to a small number (15-30) of growth types. The present study demonstrates that the number of types can be further reduced to 3-5 without sacrificing accuracy of growth predictions. North. J. Appl. For. 10(3):132-136.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forest Resources, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, Monticello, AR 71655

Publication date: September 1, 1993

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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