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Forests 2017, 8(5), 139; doi:10.3390/f8050139

Modeling Variation in Crown Profile with Tree Status and Cardinal Directions for Planted Larix olgensis Henry Trees in Northeast China

Department of Forest Management, School of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
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Academic Editor: Timothy A. Martin
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
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Abstract

Crown profile models were developed for north, east, south, and west crown directions of dominant trees, intermediate trees, and suppressed trees in planted stands of Larix olgensis Henry in Northeast China. A total of 139 sample trees were randomly selected, and all branches of each tree were measured. A segmented power equation, segmented polynomial equation, modified Weibull equation, and Kozak equation were selected as the candidate models. A traditional approach that did not consider the differences between tree status and crown directions was also developed. Three steps were conducted to analyze the effect of tree status (dominant, intermediate, and suppressed tree) and crown direction (north, east, south, and west) on the crown profiles using a dummy variable approach. Step 1 considered only tree status, Step 2 considered only crown direction, and Step 3 took both tree status and crown direction into account. Nonlinear mixed-effects model was used to express the effect of individual tree level on crown shape, and was also compared to the ordinary least-squares and generalized least-squares model. The results demonstrated that the modified Kozak equation showed good performance in the crown profile description. The nonlinear mixed-effects model significantly improved the model performance compared to the ordinary least-squares and generalized least-squares model. There were differences among the crown profiles among the four directions of dominant, intermediate, and suppressed trees. South-oriented crowns had the tendency to be the largest, which is likely to be mainly a result of light conditions. The competition status of the subject tree was the main reason leading to an asymmetric crown. Individual trees with strong competition levels had smaller crowns. View Full-Text
Keywords: branch attributes; asymmetric crown shape; outer crown radius; dummy variable approach branch attributes; asymmetric crown shape; outer crown radius; dummy variable approach
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Gao, H.; Dong, L.; Li, F. Modeling Variation in Crown Profile with Tree Status and Cardinal Directions for Planted Larix olgensis Henry Trees in Northeast China. Forests 2017, 8, 139.

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