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Process-based size-class distribution model of trees within forest plantations: A hierarchical modeling approach


Battaglia, M and Bruce, J and Latham, R and O'Grady, A and Greenwood, A, Process-based size-class distribution model of trees within forest plantations: A hierarchical modeling approach, Forest Ecology and Management, 344 pp. 63-72. ISSN 0378-1127 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.02.015


Prediction of stand structure, and how it varies with climate, disturbance and silviculture, can assist the design of adaptation options to climate change, aid silviculture response to storm damage or pest attack, and help stand managers meet product delivery schedules and maximize wood value. Making these predictions with process-based models typically requires detailed data on the existing tree population structure from which to initiate projection, or alternatively highly complex, and difficult to parameterize, models of inter-tree competition. This paper introduces a hierarchical modeling approach to address this problem. In this approach, the stand-level outputs of a process-based model, CABALA, are disaggregated among individual trees within a stand according to simple rules to provide individual tree sizes and growth trajectories. The model, designed for single-species, evenly-spaced stands, is based on a number of assumptions including: stand level allometrics can be scaled to individual trees; above-ground competition for space and resources can be used as a guide to overall inter-tree competition; trees within a stand start with a distribution of sizes as well as variation in intrinsic productive potential.

The output of the model was tested across a wide range of site types for two species, Pinus radiata and Eucalyptus globulus, over a range of thinning and fertilization treatments, and for stands of ages between 2 and 27 years. Across these conditions, predicted and observed distributions were statistically similar (p = 0.05) in 38% of the 280 E. globulus height distribution, in 47% of the 280 E. globulus diameter distribution and in 85% of the 53 P. radiata diameter distribution comparisons. Overall, predictions were better for P. radiata than E. globulus, and for both species were better for older stands than young. Spatial patterns were similar: neither predicted nor observed spatial distributions exhibited spatial auto-correlation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:diameter, height, Pinus radiata, Eucalyptus globulus, variability, silviculture
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Forestry sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Forestry not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Battaglia, M (Dr Michael Battaglia)
ID Code:117868
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2017-06-28
Last Modified:2017-09-04

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