Sapwood basal area as an estimator of individual tree growth Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/nv935513p

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  • The effectiveness of sapwood basal area as an estimator of individual tree basal area growth was tested on several young, even-aged Douglas-fir stands, stocked at varying densities. For all densities, ranging from partially open-grown to very overstocked stands, the null hypothesis that there was no association between sapwood basal area and one year basal area increment was rejected at the .05 leve1 of significance. The degree of association varied significantly between densities, but conclusions concerning how the effectiveness of sapwood basal area changes with increasing density were not possible, because of the variation in sample tree uniformity with respect to size among the densities. Comparisons were made between sapwood basal area and basal area with respect to their effectiveness in estimating basal area growth. With the exception of the light to medium density stands, sapwood basal area and basal area were equally effective estimators. For the light to medium density stands basal area was a significantly better estimator. Several explanations for the superiority of basal area were postulated, the most reasonable explanation being that the increment core estimates were inaccurate and more poorly correlated with actual sapwood basal area than were the basal area estimates due to the variability in the distribution of the sapwood on trees in partially open-grown positions. Because of the strong relationship between sapwood basal area and tree leaf area, sapwood basal area was used as a proxy variable to test for changes in leaf area or growth efficiency. Leaf area efficiency was defined as the basal area growth per unit of leaf area. The relationship between leaf area efficiency and stand density was found to be strongly linear with average efficiency decreasing significantly with increasing stand density. Lastly, a range of optimum leaf area stocking levels, as estimated through sapwood basal area measurements, with regards to maximizing wood production were examined.
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