Canadian Forest Service Publications

Relating site index to ecological factors in black spruce stands: tests of hypotheses. 1999. Beaumont, J.-F.; Ung, C.-H.; Bernier-Cardou, M. Forest Science 45(4): 484-491.

Year: 1999

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 16869

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Modeling dominant height through site index, defined as dominant height at some fixed tree age, requires two equations. The site index must be estimated as the average height of dominant trees at base age, and dominant height must be modeled as a function of age and site index, each model having its own error term. This raises a problem when squared errors are minimized to estimate parameters of interest: the estimates are biased and inconsistent because the error terms are correlated with the explanatory variables. Two additional problems are the autocorrelation among error terms and variance heterogeneity within trees. The generalized method of moments (GMM), which simultaneously takes these problems into account, offers a tool to estimate parameters of the site index and dominant height equations consistently and without biais. Allowing parameters of the height growth model to depend on explanatory variables representing ecological region and drainage class provides useful insight into growth patterns, and improves prediction based on these models. A simulation study confirms that the GMM combined with prewhitening of the time series for each tree produces useful estimates of the parameters and valid statistical tests of hypotheses about their value.