Canadian Forest Service Publications

Impact of dominant tree dynamics on site index curves. 2003. Raulier, F.; Lambert, M.-C.; Pothier, D.; Ung, C.-H. For. Ecol. Manage. 184: 65-78.

Year: 2003

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 24485

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/S0378-1127(03)00149-X

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Site index curves were modeled for two species of different shade tolerance, black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), from an extended network of permanent sample plots (PSP) that covers periods of time varying from 10 to 30 years, in the province of Quebec. A data set reserved for validation allowed us to compare the site index curves derived from PSPs with published site index curves fitted to temporary sample plots (TSP) and stem analyses (SA). For both species, the site index curves calibrated from PSPs and TSPs behave similarly as they have comparable average bias and accuracy. The major difference is seen with the SA curves that strongly overpredict the dominant height growth of the PSPs. The similar pattern of change of site index curves calibrated from TSP and PSP data reinforces their validity as both types of curves were calibrated with independent data sets and methodologies. The differences observed between SA and PSP curves were likely produced by the dynamics of dominant height related to tree mortality and change in social status. For both species, approximately one tree out of five (22% for black spruce and 16% for jack pine) was replaced every 10 years in the tree group that was used to estimate dominant height. Consequently, the trajectory of dominant height through time for a particular plot is saw-toothed, the size of the ‘‘teeth’’ being, among other things, a function of stand regularity, as measured by an evenness index. Due to this tree replacement dynamic, stand dominant height curves are also more rapidly asymptotic than those of individual trees.