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Use of the spatial distribution of trees in thinning models

Use of the spatial distribution of trees in thinning models

Silva Fennica 19(2): 137-144

Thinning models are generally based upon the density of the stand measured by the average basal area per hectare, for instance. These models are handicapped by the uneven structure of the stands. In uneven stands the averages are inadequate indicators for the need and amount of thinning. There is a long tradition to measure the spatial distribution of the stands. However, most of the work has been in connection with the regeneration surveys; consequently, the measurement of the empty space has been of greatest interest. In the stands to the thinned the thickets are more interesting. If the tree sizes vary the fixed size sample plots may not be efficient in the description of the spatial variation. Therewfore, small relascope plots were tested in the measurement of the spatial distribution of trees and in the determiantion of the need and amount of thinning. The basal area after thinning was applied as a provisional relascope factor. The thinning quantity was determined as the difference between the actual distribution of the relascope plots into basal area classes and the ideal distribution after thinning. If the zero-plot percentage in the actual stand exceeds the zero-plot percentage of the ideal stand after thinning the averge basal area per hectare falls below the desired level. In order to improve the efficiency of the sampling procedure we used sequential sampling. Poisson distribution was applied in the derivation of the decision equations. The appendix gives the respective BASIC-program for a programmable pocket calculator. Technically, the use of small relascope sample plots in the determinations of the spatial distribution of the trees is quite feasible. On the other hand, extensive yields studies and economic analyses are necessary to determine the optimal after thinning spatial distributions. Then, the optimal size of the relascope plots in different types of stands should be examined together with the analysis of othe zero-plot diagrams derived from the relascope measurements.

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