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Forests 2017, 8(10), 355; doi:10.3390/f8100355

Does the Slope of the Self-thinning Line Remain a Constant Value across Different Site Qualities?—An Implication for Plantation Density Management

Key Laboratory for Forest Resources and Ecosystem Processes of Beijing, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
Academy of Forest Inventory and Planning, State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100714, China
Rubinstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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The self-thinning rule is regarded as one of the most important principles in plantation management. This rule, involving the assumption of a constant slope coefficient, has been universally applied when regulating stand density. In this study, we hypothesized that the slope coefficient can change significantly with changes in site quality. To test this hypothesis, we first grouped forest plots into 5 categories based on site index. Second, we produced the self-thinning line represented by the Reineke function for each of the 5 site categories, selecting fully stocked plots using reduced major axis regression. Third, the slope coefficients for the different categories were tested for significant differences. The results indicated that in general, the slope was significantly different with different site quality. In addition, we observed that the slope of the self-thinning line exhibited a steeper trend for sites of lower quality, which indicated increased self-thinning or reduced self-tolerance. Finally, we concluded that it is imperative to produce specific self-thinning lines for different site quality categories. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-thinning rule; plantation management; site index; Reineke function self-thinning rule; plantation management; site index; Reineke function

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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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Ge, F.; Zeng, W.; Ma, W.; Meng, J. Does the Slope of the Self-thinning Line Remain a Constant Value across Different Site Qualities?—An Implication for Plantation Density Management. Forests 2017, 8, 355.

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