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Height Growth Models for High-Elevation Subalpine Fir, Engelmann Spruce, and Lodgepole Pine in British Columbia

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To estimate potential productivity of the high-elevation Engelmann Spruce and Subalpine Fir (ESSF) zone of British Columbia forests, the height growth models developed from low-elevation forests are currently used to estimate site indices of subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). Whether these models are adequate to describe height growth of high-elevation forests is of concern. We sampled a total of 319 naturally established, even-aged, and undamaged stands with breast height age ≥ 50 yr (165 for subalpine fir, 87 for Engelmann spruce, and 67 for lodgepole pine) ranging widely in climate and available soil moisture and nutrients. In each sampled stand, three dominant trees were destructively sampled for stem analysis. Height growth models developed from fitting data to a conditioned logistic function explained > 97% variation in height for all three study species. Examined by residual analysis, no models showed lack of fit. These models provided more accurate estimates of site index than the currently used models developed from low-elevation stands or different species. It is recommended that the models developed in this study be applied to estimate site index of the three species in the ESSF zone in British Columbia. West. J. Appl. For. 15(2):62-69.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forest Sciences Department, University of British Columbia, 3rd Floor, Forest Sciences Center, 3041 - 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Publication date: 2000-04-01

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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