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Maximum Stand-Density Index of 40 Western Hemlock–Sitka Spruce Stands in Southeast Alaska

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Reineke's (1933) maximum stand-density index (SDImax) was determined for 40 unthinned, fully stocked, even-aged, hemlock-spruce stands in southeast Alaska. A nonlinear model was used to identify objectively the linear portions of the stands' self-thinning trajectories for analysis. The objectives of the present study were (1) to use the modeled slopes and intercepts to determine the mean SDImax of the stands and (2) to identify stand and site factors associated with the variability observed in SDImax. The mean SDImax of the 40 hemlock-spruce stands in southeast Alaska was 619. Individually, none of the stand or site factors examined accounted for >30% of the variability observed in SDImax when all 40 stands were analyzed together. Although the spruce proportion of total stand basal area of most stands increased over time and the hemlock proportion of total stand basal area of most stands decreased over time, SDImax was not related to species proportion or changes in species proportion over time.

Keywords: Alaska; Pacific Northwest; Picea sitchensis; Tsuga heterophylla; self-thinning; stand-density index

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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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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