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

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

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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.
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 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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