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Volume and diameter growth of ponderosa pine trees as influenced by site index, density, age, and size

Volume and diameter growth of ponderosa pine trees as influenced by site index, density, age, and size

Forest Sci 8(3): 236-249

Recent periodic volume and diameter growth was determined for 557 dominant and codominant ponderosa pine trees sampled from natural stands widely distributed in the western U. S. Measurement data covered a wide range of soils; site quality; age, height, and diameter of sample trees; and both overstory and basal-area density of the surrounding stand. Analyses were by multiple regression techniques to determine the relative direct and interacting influences on volume and diameter growth of measured items. Four equations were developed by which growth may be predicted from measurements of sample trees growing for short test periods under known conditions of competition and on soils of known site quality, i.e. last 5-years periodic annual cu. ft. volume, last 10-years periodic annual cu. ft. volume, last 5-years radial growth, and number of rings per last radial inch. Multiple correlation coefficients were 0.949, 0.962, 0.714, and 0.774 respectively. The influence of basal-area density on volume and diameter growth was considered separately for the dominant (dominant and codominant trees) and lower-story portions in developing each of the 4 equations. Only the dominant portion of the stand showed a statistically significant influence on growth. It is therefore assumed that increased growth of individual trees is obtained by thinning the dominant stand. Seventy-one percent, [plus or minus] 10, of the basal area was contained in the dominant stand irrespective of site or age. Using published data for the total stand, approximate stand and yield information for the dominant portion (not otherwise available) was calculated. This derived stand information provides starting points for calculating growth and yield of hypothetical stands under various thinning regimes, using the growth equations.

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