Growth analysis of heterogeneous stands of ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine in central Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/db78tf674

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  • Basal area and height growth were analyzed for individual trees in uneven-aged ponderosa and lodgepole pine stands in central Oregon. Basal area growth was modeled as a function of other stand and tree variables to address five general objectives: 1) to compare the predictive ability of distance-dependent versus distance-independent stand density variables; 2) to determine the degree to which small trees negatively affect the growth of overstory trees; 3) to compare attributes of trees demonstrating varying levels of growth efficiency, and differences imposed by species and by the index of spatial occupancy used to define efficiency; 4) to determine how estimates of growth and growth efficiency change when multiple spatial occupancy indices and more functional variables are used within the model; and 5) to compare changes in growth and growth efficiency following alternative silvicultural treatments simulated on the basis of the fitted growth model. Distance-dependent variables were found to improve growth predictions when added to models with only distance-independent variables. However, this improvement was not considered sufficient to warrant the necessary labor-intensive collection procedures. Small trees were found to have a quantifiably negative effect on the growth of larger trees. However, the volume growth gained as a result of removing them was small enough to question the utility of doing so for improving overstory growth. The growth efficiency of a given tree was found to depend on the index of growing space by which that efficiency was defined. Likewise, growth efficiency patterns differed by species. While volume growth efficiency (VGE) declined with increasing levels of spatial occupancy for lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine VGE was greatest at the highest levels of crown base sapwood area and crown projection area. A single index of spatial occupancy was found to be an insufficient description of a tree's spatial occupancy from the standpoint of growth--inclusion of multiple indices of spatial occupancy and more functional variables to growth models improved growth predictions significantly. When different types of harvests were simulated on these plots, the growth responses depended on removal size class. Growth response within a given size class was greatest when basal area removal across the plot was concentrated among the largest trees. Stand growth response followed the opposite trend. Growth efficiency of residual trees was most dependent on the arrangement and characteristics of individual plot trees.
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