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Jouni Siipilehto (email), Sakari Sarkkola, Lauri Mehtätalo

Comparing regression estimation techniques when predicting diameter distributions of Scots pine on drained peatlands

Siipilehto J., Sarkkola S., Mehtätalo L. (2007). Comparing regression estimation techniques when predicting diameter distributions of Scots pine on drained peatlands. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 2 article id 300. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.300


We compared different statistical methods for fitting linear regression models to a longitudinal data of breast height diameter (dbh) distributions of Scots pine dominated stands on drained peatlands. The parameter prediction methods for two parameters of Johnson’s SB distribution, fitted to basal-area dbh distributions, were: 1) a linear model estimated by ordinary least squares (OLS), 2) a multivariate linear model estimated using the seemingly unrelated regression approach (SUR), 3) a linear mixed-effects model with random intercept (MIX), and 4) a multivariate mixed-effects model (MSUR). The aim was to clarify the effect of taking into account the hierarchy of the data, as well as simultaneous estimation of the correlated dependent variables on the model fit and predictions. Instead of the reliability of the predicted parameters, we focused on the reliability of the models in predicting stand conditions. Predicted distributions were validated in terms of bias, RMSE, and error deviation in the generated quantities of the growing stock. The study material consisted of 112 successively measured stands from 12 experimental areas covering the whole of Finland (total of 608 observations). Two independent test data sets were used for model validation. All the advanced regression techniques were superior to OLS, when exactly the same independent stand variables were included. SUR and MSUR were ranked the overall best and second best, respectively. Their ranking was the same in the modeling data, whereas MSUR was superior in the peatland test data and SUR in the mineral soil test data. The ranking of the models was logical, but may not be widely generalized. The SUR and MSUR models were considered to be relevant tools for practical forest management planning purposes over a variety of site types and stand structures.

Pinus sylvestris; drained peatland; dbh distribution; Johnson’s SB function; regression estimation methods

Author Info
  • Siipilehto, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail jouni.siipilehto@metla.fi (email)
  • Sarkkola, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail ss@nn.fi
  • Mehtätalo, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, 80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail lm@nn.fi

Received 7 June 2006 Accepted 8 February 2007 Published 31 December 2007

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Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.300 | Download PDF

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