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Forests 2011, 2(4), 814-831; doi:10.3390/f2040814

Regional Models of Diameter as a Function of Individual Tree Attributes, Climate and Site Characteristics for Six Major Tree Species in Alberta, Canada

1
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, 506 West Burnside Rd., Victoria, BC V8Z 1M5, Canada
2
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, 1219 Queen St. E., Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2E5, Canada
3
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, 5320-122nd Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 3S5, Canada
4
Sustainable Resource Development, 8th floor Great West Life Building, 9920-108 Street, Edmonton, AB T5K 2M4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 July 2011 / Revised: 16 August 2011 / Accepted: 22 September 2011 / Published: 29 September 2011
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Abstract

We investigated the relationship of stem diameter to tree, site and stand characteristics for six major tree species (trembling aspen, white birch, balsam fir, lodgepole pine, black spruce, and white spruce) in Alberta (Canada) with data from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Permanent Sample Plots. Using non-linear mixed effects modeling techniques, we developed models to estimate diameter at breast height using height, crown and stand attributes. Mixed effects models (with plot as subject) using height, crown area, and basal area of the larger trees explained on average 95% of the variation in diameter at breast height across the six species with a root mean square error of 2.0 cm (13.4% of mean diameter). Fixed effects models (without plot as subject) including the Natural Sub-Region (NSR) information explained on average 90% of the variation in diameter at breast height across the six species with a root mean square error equal to 2.8 cm (17.9% of mean diameter). Selected climate variables provided similar results to models with NSR information. The inclusion of nutrient regime and moisture regime did not significantly improve the predictive ability of these models. View Full-Text
Keywords: diameter-height models; non-linear mixed-effects; crown; basal area; climate variables; natural sub-region diameter-height models; non-linear mixed-effects; crown; basal area; climate variables; natural sub-region
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cortini, F.; Filipescu, C.N.; Groot, A.; MacIsaac, D.A.; Nunifu, T. Regional Models of Diameter as a Function of Individual Tree Attributes, Climate and Site Characteristics for Six Major Tree Species in Alberta, Canada. Forests 2011, 2, 814-831.

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