Current issue: 54(2)
Models for individual-tree basal area growth were constructed for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), pubescent birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) growing in drained peatland stands. The data consisted of two separate sets of permanent sample plots forming a large sample of drained peatland stands in Finland. The dependent variable in all models was the 5-year basal area growth of a tree. The independent tree-level variables were tree dbh, tree basal area, and the sum of the basal area of trees larger than the target tree. Independent stand-level variables were stand basal area, the diameter of the tree of median basal area, and temperature sum. Categorical variables describing the site quality, as well as the condition and age of drainage, were used. Differences in tree growth were used as criteria in reclassifying the a priori site types into new yield classes by tree species. All models were constructed as mixed linear models with a random stand effect. The models were tested against the modelling data and against independent data sets.
The use of random parameter models in forestry has been proposed as one method of incorporating different levels of information into prediction equations. By explicitly considering the variance-covariance structure of observations and considering some model parameters as random rather than fixed, one can incorporate more complex error structures in analysing data.
Competition indices and variance component techniques were applied to 92 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) -dominated permanent sample plots on drained peatlands in Northern Finland. By quantifying stand, plot, and tree level variation, it was possible to identify the level (stand, plot or tree) at which the explanatory variables contributed to the model. The replication of plots within stands revealed little variation among plots within a single stand but significant variation occurred at stand and tree levels. Positive and negative effects of inter-tree competition are identified by examining simple correlation statistics and the random parameter model.