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Forests 2015, 6(7), 2450-2468; doi:10.3390/f6072450

Occurrence of Density-Dependent Height Repression within Jack Pine and Black Spruce Populations

Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, 1219 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2E5, Canada
Academic Editors: George L. W. Perry and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 10 April 2015 / Revised: 2 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 16 July 2015
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of density-dependent height relationships in jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) populations. After assessing and ruling out the presence of consequential spatial correlation effects, the analysis consisted of analyzing the relationship between mean dominant height and initial planting density within 28 Nelder plots located in the central portion of the Canadian Boreal Forest Region. Employing remeasurement data obtained at periodic intervals (16, 20 and 40–41 years post-establishment) across a stand density gradient ranging from a minimum of 1425 stems/ha to a maximum of 28,621 stems/ha, graphical and simple linear regression analyses were used to quantify the stand height–density relationship by species, plot and measurement year. The results indicated the presence of density-dependent effects on height development for both species: 65% of the 83 jack pine relationships and 89% of the 27 black spruce relationships had significant (p ≤ 0.05) and negative slope values. In regards to jack pine for which the data permitted, the occurrence and magnitude of the observed height repression effect increased over time. The asymptotic height repression effect for jack pine was 24% greater than that for black spruce. The results are discussed within the context of the applicability of the density-independent height growth assumption and potential implications for site quality estimation and thinning response modeling. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nelder plots; spatial correlation; regression analysis Nelder plots; spatial correlation; regression analysis
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Newton, P.F. Occurrence of Density-Dependent Height Repression within Jack Pine and Black Spruce Populations. Forests 2015, 6, 2450-2468.

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