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Height Growth Pattern of Lodgepole Pine in Relation to Natural Subregions in Alberta

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Based on the provincial stem analysis and permanent sample plot (PSP) data of 1,580 felled dominant and codominant trees, height growth patterns of lodgepole pine were compared among the three major natural subregions [Sub-Alpine (SAL), Upper Foothills (UFH), and Lower Foothills (LFH)] in Alberta. The comparison used the ratio of heights at 70 and 30 years of breast height age (Z ratio) as a quantitative measure of height growth pattern (i.e., the response variable), site index (height at breast height age of 50 years) as the covariate, and natural subregion as the factor. Results indicated that: (1) the height growth pattern in the SAL natural subregion was significantly different from other natural subregions; and (2) no significant differences in height growth pattern were found between other natural subregions. Two polymorphic height and site index curves were developed: one for the SAL natural subregion and the other for the UFH and LFH natural subregions. Comparisons between the two curves and the previously developed provincial curve indicated that, for the same site index, trees in the SAL subregion grow consistently slower after 50 years. When the provincial height and site index curve was applied to the SAL natural subregion, large differences (≤14%) in gross volume estimation were found. However, volume estimation differences were very small (<2%) when the provincial curve was applied to the other two natural subregions. It is recommended that the natural subregion-based curves should be used for predicting lodgepole pine site index or height at any age in the SAL natural subregion. West. J. Appl. For. 19(3):154–159.

Keywords: Pinus contorta var. latifolia; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; height curve; height growth pattern; natural resource management; natural resources; site index

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Clemson University 261 Lehotsky Hall Clemson SC 29634-0331 Phone: (864) 656-4864, Email: 2: Forest Management Branch, Land and Forest Service Alberta Sustainable Resource Development 8th Floor, 9920, 108 Street Edmonton Alberta Canada T5K 2M4

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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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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