Canadian Forest Service Publications

Modeling wood fibre attributes using forest inventory and environmental data. 2014. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Fibre Facts 017. 2 p.

Year: 2014

Available from: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35754

Language: English

Series: Fibre Facts (CWFC - CFS)

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

Additional information:


We explore the possibility of predicting wood fiber attributes across Newfoundland for two commercial species: black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.). Estimates of key fiber attributes (including wood density, coarseness, fiber length, and modulus of elasticity) were derived from measurements of wood cores taken from sample plots representing a wide structural gradient of forest stands. Candidate models for predicting fiber attributes at plot and landscape scales were developed using an information-theoretical approach and compared based on Akaike’s information criterion. The most influential variables were stand age and the presence of precommercial thinning. Other significant explanatory variables included those that characterize vegetation structure (mean diameter at breast height, dominant height), climate (annual precipitation, mean temperature of the growing season), and geography (elevation, latitude) depending on the species and fiber attribute being modeled. At the plot level, model inference gave root mean square errors of 5.3–11.9% for all attributes. At the landscape level, prediction errors were similar (5.4–12.1%), with the added benefit of being suitable for mapping fiber attributes across the landscape. The results obtained demonstrate the potential for predicting and mapping fiber attributes over a large region of boreal forest in Newfoundland, Canada.

Plain Language Summary

Knowledge of fibre attributes and where these are located on the landscape is important to forest managers because it can provide a competitive advantage when deciding where to acquire the right fibre for a specific product. Researchers examined how environmental and forest variables measured at inventory plots or available from stand-level maps could be used to predict the fibre attributes of Newfoundland’s two major commercial species: balsam fir and black spruce. They determined fibre attributes by analyzing wood cores from sample plots representing a wide range of stand types. They developed models using a set of four groups of explanatory variables: geography (elevation, latitude); climate (mean temperature of growing season, mean annual precipitation); vegetation structure (mean diameter at breast height, age, species composition, dominant height); and disturbance (precommercial thinning). The results confirmed that it was possible to model wood fibre attributes using explanatory variables contained in existing forest inventory systems combined with other environmental variables describing climate and geography.

Also available under the title:
Modélisation des attributs de la fibre ligneuse à l’aide de l’inventaire forestier et de données environnementales. Faits sur la fibre 017. (French)

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