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Developing Optimal Commercial Thinning Prescriptions: A New Graphical Approach

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We describe an alternative approach to the traditional stand-density management diagrams and stocking guides for determining optimum commercial thinning prescriptions. Predictions from a stand-growth simulator are incorporated into multiple nomograms that graphically display postthinning responses of various financial and biological response variables (mean annual increment, piece size, final harvest cost, total wood cost, and net present value). A customized ArcView GIS computer interface (ThinME) displays multiple nomograms and serves as a tool for forest managers to balance a variety of competing objectives when developing commercial thinning prescriptions. ThinME provides a means to evaluate simultaneously three key questions about commercial thinning: (1) When should thinning occur? (2) How much should be removed? and (3) When should the final harvest occur, to satisfy a given set of management objectives?

Keywords: FVS; Nomogram; financial analysis; silvicultural system; simulation

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Knoxville TN 37919 2: Department of Forest Ecosystem Science University of Maine Orono ME 04469

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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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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