Assessing the Applicability of Growth Models to New Species and Regions: An Example Comparing Mediterranean Maritime Pine in Central Spain to Ponderosa Pine in Southwestern Oregon, USA
Evaluations of response to variable silvicultural treatments play a key role in developing sustainable forest management. To evaluate silvicultural response, a growth and yield model is needed. A comparison between similar species could act as a logical first step toward building a growth and yield model and to test the efficiency of the calibration of an existing ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) growth model to a Mediterranean maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait. ssp. mesogeensis) growth model. This study aimed at (1) comparing the diameter growth pattern between ponderosa and Mediterranean maritime pine, and (2) assessing the potential of ORGANON for simulating Mediterranean maritime pine growth and yield. The first objective was addressed by fitting a diameter growth equation for Mediterranean maritime pine and comparing it with patterns in ponderosa pine growth represented by the corresponding equation in ORGANON. The second objective was addressed by growing Mediterranean maritime pine as ponderosa pine in ORGANON, conditional on observed diameter growth rates of Mediterranean maritime pine in Spain. The results emphasized the unsuitability of ORGANON for predicting diameter growth of Mediterranean maritime pine in Spain. Mediterranean maritime pine diameter growth depended on basal area in trees with a diameter larger than the subject tree, (BAL) which, in our context is a subrogate of competition from above.
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