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Developing and Validating Nonlinear Height–Diameter Models for Major Tree Species of Ontario's Boreal Forests

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Abstract:

Six commonly used nonlinear growth functions were fitted to individual tree height-diameter data of nine major tree species in Ontario's boreal forests. A total of 22,571 trees was collected from new permanent sample plots across the northeast and northwest of Ontario.The available data for each species were split into two sets: the majority (90%) was used to estimate model parameters, and the remaining data (10%) were reserved to validate the models. The performance of the models was compared and evaluated by model, R2, mean difference, and mean absolute difference. The results showed that these six sigmoidal models were able to capture the height–diameter relationships and fit the data equally well, but produced different asymptote estimates. Sigmoidal models such as Chapman–Richards, Weibull, and Schnute functions provided the most satisfactory height predictions. The effect of model performance on tree volume estimation was also investigated. Tree volumes of different species were computed by Honer's volume equations using a range of diameters and the predicted tree total height from the six models. For trees with diameter less than 55 cm, the six height-diameter models produced very similar results for all species, while more differentiation among the models was observed for large-sized trees (e.g., diameters > 80 cm). North. J. Appl. For. 18:87–94.

Keywords: Nonlinear growth function; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; permanent sample plot

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Forestry, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, One Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY, 13210 2: Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 5E1, Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • 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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