Developing a framework for growth modelling in a managed southern black beech forest
Background: A model of individual tree growth using simple predictors in a managed black beech (Fuscospora solandri (Hook.f.) Heenan & Smissen) forest could provide a useful tool for predicting future stand characteristics. Methods: Data from permanent sample plots were used to develop a framework for modelling individual tree growth in Woodside forest, a managed black beech forest in north Canterbury (New Zealand). We tested three mixed-effect models to identify effects of sites, treatment (thinnings), individual tree size and competition on tree growth rates. Results: A power function amended with variables specifying stand basal area and thinning treatment was best suited for black beech, explaining about 55% of the variation in growth rates. Treatment history (thinnings), as well as the individual tree size and the stand basal area, strongly affected tree diameter growth. Only 3% of the variation in diameter growth rates was explained by plot-specific effect which was less than observed in earlier studies. Conclusions: All predictor variables (management history, individual tree diameter and stand basal area) are quite simple to measure in the field and could be easily used to predict diameter increments in managed or unmanaged forests. A limitation of our study was that available growth data in Woodside were from small plots, focused on a small number of trees and a narrow range of diameters. However, our results are a good starting point, providing a promising framework for further modelling of tree growth in Woodside forest from new permanent plot data.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsmixed-effect models; Woodside forest; black beech forest; forest management; New Zealand; Forestry
Fields of Research070504 Forestry Management and Environment; 0501 Ecological Applications; 0705 Forestry Sciences
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