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Forests 2016, 7(12), 303; doi:10.3390/f7120303

Evaluation of Whole Tree Growth Increment Derived from Tree-Ring Series for Use in Assessments of Changes in Forest Productivity across Various Spatial Scales

Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, 5320 122 Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 3S5, Canada
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Academic Editors: Scott X. Chang and Xiangyang Sun
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling and Plant Nutrition in Forest Ecosystems)
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Abstract

The inherent predictability of inter-annual variation in forest productivity remains unknown. Available field-based data sources for understanding this variability differ in their spatial resolution, temporal resolution, and typical units of measure. Nearly all other tree and forest characteristics are in practice derived from measurements of diameter at breast height (DBH). Therefore, diameter increment reconstructed annually from tree-ring data can be used to estimate annual growth increments of wood volume, but the accuracy and precision of these estimates requires assessment. Annual growth estimates for n = 170 trees sampled for whole stem analysis from five tree species (jack pine, lodgepole pine, black spruce, white spruce, and trembling aspen) in Western Canada were compared against increments derived from breast height measurements only. Inter-annual variability of breast height and whole tree growth increments was highly correlated for most trees. Relative errors varied by species, diameter class, and the equation used to estimate volume (regional vs. national). A simple example of the possible effect of this error when propagated to the stand level is provided. View Full-Text
Keywords: tree rings; volume increment; height increment; stem analysis tree rings; volume increment; height increment; stem analysis
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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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Metsaranta, J.M.; Bhatti, J.S. Evaluation of Whole Tree Growth Increment Derived from Tree-Ring Series for Use in Assessments of Changes in Forest Productivity across Various Spatial Scales. Forests 2016, 7, 303.

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