Category: Research article
article id 10351, category Research article
Taper models for black locust in west Poland. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 5 article id 10351. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10351
Highlights: Seven taper models with different numbers of estimated parameters were analysed; Section diameter and volume was modelled using fixed and mixed-effects modelling approaches; The variable-form taper model with eight estimated parameters fitted the data the best; The lowest error for volume prediction was achieved for the fixed-effects taper model.
The diameter at any point on a stem and tree volume are some of the most important types of information used in forest management planning. One of the methods to predict the diameter at any point on a stem is to develop taper models. Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) occurs in almost all forests in Poland, with the largest concentration in the western part of the country. Using empirical data obtained from 13 black locust stands (48 felled trees), seven taper models with different numbers of estimated parameters were analysed for section diameters both over and under bark using fixed and mixed-effects modelling approaches. Assuming a lack of additional measurements, the best fitted taper models were used for the prediction of over bark volume using both methods. The predicted volume was compared with the results from different volume equations available for black locust. The variable-form taper model with eight estimated parameters fitted the data the best. The lowest root mean square error for volume prediction was achieved for the elaborated fixed-effects taper model (0.0476), followed by the mixed-effects taper model (0.0489). At the same time, the difference between the volume relative errors achieved based on the taper models does not differ significantly from the results obtained using the volume equations already available for black locust (two of the three analysed).
article id 10291, category Research article
Comparison of photogrammetric canopy models from archived and made-to-order aerial imagery in forest inventory. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 5 article id 10291. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10291
Highlights: Two photogrammetric canopy models were tested in forest inventory: one based on archived standard aerial imagery acquired for ortho-mosaic production and another based on stereo-photogrammetrically oriented aerial imaging adjusted for stereo-photogrammetric canopy modelling; Both data sets were tested in the estimation of forest variables; Despite the differences in imaging parameters, there was little difference in their performance in predicting the forest inventory variables.
In remote sensing-based forest inventories 3D point cloud data, such as acquired from airborne laser scanning, are well suited for estimating the volume of growing stock and stand height, but tree species recognition often requires additional optical imagery. A combination of 3D data and optical imagery can be acquired based on aerial imaging only, by using stereo photogrammetric 3D canopy modeling. The use of aerial imagery is well suited for large-area forest inventories, due to low costs, good area coverage and temporally rapid cycle of data acquisition. Stereo-photogrammetric canopy modeling can also be applied to previously acquired imagery, such as for aerial ortho-mosaic production, assuming that the imagery has sufficient stereo overlap. In this study we compared two stereo-photogrammetric canopy models combined with contemporary satellite imagery in forest inventory. One canopy model was based on standard archived imagery acquired primarily for ortho-mosaic production, and another was based on aerial imagery whose acquisition parameters were better oriented for stereo-photogrammetric canopy modeling, including higher imaging resolution and greater stereo-coverage. Aerial and satellite data were tested in the estimation of growing stock volume, volumes of main tree species, basal area and diameter and height. Despite the better quality of the latter canopy model, the difference of the accuracy of the forest estimates based on the two different data sets was relatively small for most variables (differences in RMSEs were 0–20%, depending on variable). However, the estimates based on stereo-photogrammetrically oriented aerial data retained better the original variation of the forest variables present in the study area.
article id 9972, category Research article
Validating the predicted saw log and pulpwood proportions and gross value of Scots pine and Norway spruce harvest at stand level by Most Similar Neighbour analyses and a stem quality database. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 4 article id 9972. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9972
Highlights: Non-parametric prediction together with external stem quality database provides predictions usable for pre-harvest assessment at a stand level; The prediction of Norway spruce assortment recovery and value proved to be more accurate than the predictions for Scots pine; RMSE and bias of unit prices were 3.50 € m–3 and 0.58 € m–3 for pine and 2.60 € m–3 and 0.35 € m–3 for spruce.
Detailed pre-harvest information about the volumes and properties of growing stocks is needed for increased precision in wood procurement planning for just-in-time wood deliveries by cut-to-length (CTL) harvesters. In the study, the non-parametric Most Similar Neighbour (MSN) methodology was evaluated for predicting external quality of Scots pine and Norway spruce, expressed as stem sections fulfilling the saw log dimension and quality requirements of Finnish forest industry, as they affect the recovery of timber assortments and the value of a pre-harvest stand. Effects of external tree quality were evaluated using saw log recovery and saw log reduction caused by stem defects, as well as total timber value (€) and average unit value (€ m–3) in a stand. Root mean square error (RMSE) of saw log recovery and reduction were 9.12 percentile points (pp) for Scots pine and 6.38 pp for Norway spruce stands. In the unit value considerations, the predictions compared with measurements resulted in the RMSE of 3.50 € m–3 and the bias of 0.58 € m–3 in Scots pine stands and 2.60 € m–3, and 0.35 € m–3 in Norway spruce stands, respectively. The presented MSN based approach together with the utilization of the external stem quality database included in the ARVO software could provide dimension and external quality predictions usable for pre-harvest assessment of timber stock at a stand level. This prediction methodology is usable especially in analyses where timber assortment recoveries, values and unit prices are compared when different bucking objectives are used.
article id 7751, category Research article
Influence of climate and forest management on damage risk by the pine weevil Hylobius abietis in northern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 5 article id 7751. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7751
Highlights: Analysis of survey data from 292 reforestation areas in northern Sweden show that the probability of pine weevil damage can be predicted with a standard error of 0.12; Three variables are important in the optimal model: proportion of seedlings in mineral soil, age of clear-cut, and temperature sum; Temperature sum in the model can be adjusted to reflect future climate scenarios.
The pine weevil Hylobius abietis L. is an economically important pest insect that kills high proportions of conifer seedlings in reforestation areas. It is present in conifer forests all over Europe but weevil abundance and risk for damage varies considerably between areas. This study aimed to obtain a useful model for predicting damage risks by analyzing survey data from 292 regular forest plantations in northern Sweden. A model of pine weevil attack was constructed using various site characteristics, including both climatic factors and factors related to forest management activities. The optimal model was rather imprecise but showed that the risk of pine weevil attack can be predicted approximatively with three principal variables: 1) the proportion of seedlings expected to be planted in mineral soil rather than soil covered with duff and debris, 2) age of clear-cut at the time of planting, and 3) calculated temperature sum at the location. The model was constructed using long-run average temperature sums for epoch 2010, and so effects of climate change can be inferred from the model by adjustment to future epochs. Increased damage risks with a warmer climate are strongly indicated by the model. Effects of a warmer climate on the geographical distribution and abundance of the pine weevil are also discussed. The new tool to better estimate the risk of damage should provide a basis for foresters in their choice of countermeasures against pine weevil damage in northern Europe.
article id 1106, category Research article
Conifer crown profile models from terrestrial laser scanning. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 1 article id 1106. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1106
Highlights: Crown models are derived from terrestrial laser data for 3 NW USA conifer species; Crown models require only crown length for implementation; Beta and Weibull curves fit to 95th percentile widths describe crown extent; Crown profile curves are species-specific and not interchangeable; Crown shape is not strongly conditioned by tree size or site.
Regional crown profile models were derived for three conifer species of the interior northwestern USA from terrestrial laser scans of eighty-six trees across a range of sizes and growing conditions. Equations were developed to predict crown shape from crown length for Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus ponderosa, and Abies lasiocarpa from parametric curves applied to crown-length normalized laser point clouds. The 95th width percentile adequately described each crown’s outer limit; alternate width percentiles produced little profile shape variation. For P. menziesii and P. ponderosa, a scaling parameter-modified beta curve gave the most accurate fit (using cross-validated Mean Absolute Error) to aggregated 95th width percentile points. For A. lasiocarpa, beta and Weibull curves (equivalently modified) produced similar results. For all species, modified beta and Weibull curves fit crown points with less error than conic or cylindrical profiles. Crown profile curves were species-specific; interchanging among species increased error significantly. Laser-derived crown base metrics provided objectivity and consistency, but underestimated field-derived base heights through inclusion of dead branches. Profile curve parameters were not correlated with tree or stand characteristics suggesting that crown shape is not strongly conditioned by size and site factors. However, laser sampling necessarily favored more open growing conditions, potentially under-representing variations in crown shape associated with social position. Overall, Terrrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) lends itself to detailed measurements of external crown architecture with occlusion-imposed limits to characterization of internal features. Yet, the time and cost of collecting and processing individual tree data precludes use of TLS as a common field sampling tool.
article id 1057, category Research article
Parameter recovery vs. parameter prediction for the Weibull distribution validated for Scots pine stands in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1057. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1057
Highlights: A parameter recovery method (PRM) was developed for forest stand inventories and compared with previously developed parameter prediction methods (PPM) in Finland; PRM for the 2-parameter Weibull function provided compatibility for the main stand characteristics: stem number, basal area and one of the four optional mean characteristics; PRM provided comparable and at its best, superior accuracy in volume characteristics compared with PPM.
The moment-based parameter recovery method (PRM) has not been applied in Finland since the 1930s, even after a continuation of forest stand structure modelling in the 1980s. This paper presents a general overview of PRM and some useful applications. Applied PRM provided compatibility for the included stand characteristics of stem number (N) and basal area (G) with either mean (D), basal area-weighted mean (DG), median (DM) or basal area-median (DGM) diameter at breast height (dbh). A two-parameter Weibull function was used to describe the dbh-frequency distribution of Scots pine stands in Finland. In the validation, PRM was compared with existing parameter prediction models (PPMs). In addition, existing models for stand characteristics were used for the prediction of unknown characteristics. Validation consisted of examining the performance of the predicted distributions with respect to variation in stand density and accuracy of the localised distributions, as well as accuracy in terms of bias and the RMSE in stand characteristics in the independent test data set. The validation data consisted of 467 randomly selected stands from the National Forest Inventory based plots. PRM demonstrated excellent accuracy if G and N were both known. At its best, PRM provided accuracy that was superior to any existing model in Finland – especially in young stands (mean height < 9 m), where the RMSE in total and pulp wood volumes, 3.6 and 5.7%, respectively, was reduced by one-half of the values obtained using the best performing existing PPM (8.7–11.3%). The unweighted Weibull distribution solved by PRM was found to be competitive with weighted existing PPMs for advanced stands. Therefore, using PRM, the need for a basal area weighted distribution proved unnecessary, contrary to common belief. Models for G and N were shown to be unreliable and need to be improved to obtain more reliable distributions using PRM.
article id 55, category Research article
Using cost-plus-loss analysis to define optimal forest inventory interval and forest inventory accuracy. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 2 article id 55. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.55
In recent years, optimal inventory accuracy has been analyzed with a cost-plus-loss methodology, where the total costs of inventory include both the measurement costs and the losses from the decisions based on the collected information. Losses occur, when the inaccuracies in the data lead to sub-optimal decisions. In almost all cases, it has been assumed that the accuracy of the once collected data remains the same throughout the planning period, and the period has been from 10 up to 100 years. In reality, the quality of the data deteriorates in time, due to errors in the predicted growth. In this study, we carried out a cost-plus-loss analysis accounting for the errors in (stand-level) growth predictions of basal area and dominant height. In addition, we included the inventory errors of these two variables with several different levels of accuracy, and costs of inventory with several different assumptions of cost structure. Using the methodology presented in this study, we could calculate the optimal inventory interval (life-span of data) minimizing the total costs of inventory and losses through the 30-year planning period. When the inventory costs only to a small extent depended on the accuracy, the optimal inventory period was 5 years and optimal accuracy RMSE 0%. When the costs more and more heavily depended on the accuracy, the optimal interval turned out to be either 10 or 15 years, and the optimal accuracy reduced from RMSE 0% to RMSE 20%. By increasing the accuracy of the growth models, it was possible to reduce the inventory accuracy or lengthen the interval, i.e. obtain clear savings in inventory costs.
article id 99, category Research article
Local prediction of stand structure using linear prediction theory in Scots pine-dominated stands in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 4 article id 99. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.99
This study produced a family of models for eight standard stand characteristics, frequency and basal area-based diameter distributions, and a height curve for stands in Finland dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The data consisted of 752 National Forest Inventory-based sample plots, measured three times between 1976 and 2001. Of the data, 75% were randomly selected for modelling and 25% left out for model evaluation. Base prediction models were constructed as functions of stand age, location and site providing strongly average expectations. These expectations were then calibrated with the known stand variables using linear prediction theory when estimating the best linear unbiased predictor (BLUP). Three stand variables, typically assessed in Finnish forest management planning fieldwork, were quite effective for calibrating the expectation for the unknown variable. In the case of optional distributions, it was essential to choose the weighting of the diameter distribution model such that the available input variables and the model applied were based on the same scale (e.g. arithmetic stand variables for frequency distribution). Additional input variables generally improved the accuracy of the validated characteristics, but the improvements in the predicted distributions were most noteworthy when the arithmetic mean and basal area-weighted median were simultaneously included in the BLUP estimation. The BLUP method provided a flexible approach for characterising relationships among stand variables, alternative size distributions and the height–diameter curve. Models are intended for practical use in the MOTTI simulator.
article id 111, category Research article
Influence of growth prediction errors on the expected losses from forest decisions. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 5 article id 111. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.111
In forest planning, forest inventory information is used for predicting future development of forests under different treatments. Model predictions always include some errors, which can lead to sub-optimal decisions and economic loss. The influence of growth prediction errors on the reliability of projected forest variables and on the treatment propositions have previously been examined in a few studies, but economic losses due to growth prediction errors is an almost unexplored subject. The aim of this study was to examine how the growth prediction errors affected the expected losses caused by incorrect harvest decisions, when the inventory interval increased. The growth models applied in the analysis were stand-level growth models for basal area and dominant height. The focus was entirely on the effects of growth prediction errors, other sources of uncertainty being ignored. The results show that inoptimality losses increased with the inventory interval. Average relative inoptimality loss was 3.3% when the inventory interval was 5 years and 11.6% when it was 60 years. Average absolute inoptimality loss was 230 euro ha–1 when the inventory interval was 5 years and 860 euro ha–1 when it was 60 years. The average inoptimality losses varied between development classes, site classes and main tree species.
article id 282, category Research article
Modelling percentile based basal area weighted diameter distribution. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 3 article id 282. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.282
In percentile method, percentiles of the diameter distribution are predicted with a system of models. The continuous empirical diameter distribution function is then obtained by interpolating between the predicted values of percentiles. In Finland, the distribution is typically modelled as a basal-area weighted distribution, which is transformed to a traditional density function for applications. In earlier studies it has been noted that when calculated from the basal-area weighted diameter distribution, the density function is decreasing in most stands, especially for Norway spruce. This behaviour is not supported by the data. In this paper, we investigate the reasons for the unsatisfactory performance and present possible solutions for the problem. Besides the predicted percentiles, the problems are due to implicit assumptions of diameter distribution in the system. The effect of these assumptions can be somewhat lessened with simple ad-hoc methods, like increasing new percentiles to the system. This approach does not, however, utilize all the available information in the estimation, namely the analytical relationships between basal area, stem number and diameter. Accounting for these, gives further possibilities for improving the results. The results show, however, that in order to achieve further improvements, it would be recommendable to make the implicit assumptions more realistic. Furthermore, height variation within stands seems to have an important contribution to the uncertainty of some forest characteristics, especially in the case of sawnwood volume.
article id 334, category Research article
Linear prediction application for modelling the relationships between a large number of stand characteristics of Norway spruce stands. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 3 article id 334. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.334
The aim was to produce models for a large number of stand characteristics of Norway spruce dominated stands. A total of 227 national forest inventory based permanent stand plots, dominated by Norway spruce (Picea abies), were used in modelling eight stand variables as a function of the stand mean biological age and site characteristics. The basic models were able to characterize the average development of the modelled stand variables, but resulted in a relatively high RMSE. Basal area (G) and stem number (N) were the most inaccurate, having a RMSE of 34–41%, while that of mean diameter and height characteristics varied between 16–20%. The expectations and error variances of the basic models were calibrated with known stand variables using linear prediction theory. The best linear unbiased predictor (BLUP) with a single stand variable used for calibration proved to be ineffective for unknown G and N, but relatively effective for the unknown mean characteristics. However, calibration with one sum and one mean characteristic proved to be effective, and additional calibration variables enhanced the precision only marginally. The BLUP method provided a flexible approach when characterizing the relationships between a large number of stand variables, thus enabling multiple use of these models because they were not fixed to a specific inventory system.
article id 332, category Research article
Calibrating predicted tree diameter distributions in Catalonia, Spain. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 3 article id 332. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.332
Several probability density functions have been used in describing the diameter distributions of forest stands. In a case where both the stand basal area and number of stems per hectare are assessed, the fitted or predicted distribution is scaled using only one of these variables, with the result that the distribution often gives incorrect values for the other variable. Using a distribution that provides incorrect values for known characteristics means wasting information. Calibrating the distribution so that it is compatible with the additional information on stand characteristics is a way to avoid such wasting. This study examined the effect of calibration on the accuracy of the predicted diameter distributions of the main tree species of Catalonia. The distributions were calibrated with and without considering the prediction errors of the frequencies of diameter classes. When prediction errors were assumed, the calibration was done with and without making allowance for estimation errors in the stand level calibration variables. Calibrated distributions were more accurate than non-calibrated in terms of sums of different powers of diameters. The set of calibration variables that gave the most accurate results included six stand variables: number of trees per hectare, stand basal area, basal-area-weighted mean diameter, non-weighted mean diameter, median diameter, and basal area median diameter. Of the tested three-variable combinations the best was: number of trees per hectare, stand basal area, and basal-area-weighted mean diameter. Means were more useful calibration variables than medians.
article id 331, category Research article
Height distributions of Scots pine sapling stands affected by retained tree and edge stand competition. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 3 article id 331. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.331
The paper focused on the height structure of Scots pine saplings affected by (1) retained solitary pine trees or (2) a pine-dominated edge stand. The study material in (1) and (2) consisted of ten separate regeneration areas in southern Finland. In (1) 2-m radius study plots were located at 1, 3, 6 and 10 m distances from 10 systematically selected, solitary retained trees in each stand. In (2) the study plots were systematically located within 20 m from the edge stand. Competition of the individual trees was modelled using ecological field theory. The 24th and 93rd sample percentiles were used for estimating the height distribution using the two-parameter Weibull function. The models incorporated the effect of varying advanced tree competition on the predicted percentiles. Competition free dominant height was used as a driving variable for the developmental phase. Competition resulted in retarded height development within a radius of about 6 m from the retained tree, while it extended up to roughly half of the dominant height of the edge stand. The height distribution without external competition was relatively symmetrical, but increasing competition resulted in a more peaked and skewed distribution. Slight differences were found between northern sunny and southern shaded stand edges, while the least retarded height occurred at the north-western edge receiving morning sunlight. Kolmogorov-Smirnov goodness-of-fit tests showed acceptable and equal fit for both data sets; 2% and 8% of the distributions did not pass the test at the alpha 0.1 level when the Weibull distribution was estimated with the observed or predicted percentiles, respectively.
article id 522, category Research article
Anticipating the variance of predicted stand volume and timber assortments with respect to stand characteristics and field measurements. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 4 article id 522. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.522
Several models and/or several variable combinations could be used to predict the diameter distribution of a stand. Typically, a fixed model and a fixed variable combination is used in all conditions. The calibration procedure, however, makes it possible to choose the measurement combination from among many possibilities, although the model used is fixed. In this study, the usefulness of utilizing additional stand characteristics for calibrating the predicted diameter distribution is examined. Nine measurement strategies were tested in predicting the total stand volume, sawlog volume and pulpwood volume. The observed errors of these variables under each strategy were modeled as a function of basal area, basal area median diameter and number of stems. The models were estimated in three steps. First, an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model was fitted to the observed errors. Then, a variance function was estimated using the OLS residuals. Finally, a weighted Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) analysis was used to model the observed errors, using the estimated variance functions as weights. The estimated models can be used to anticipate the precision and accuracy of predicted volume characteristics for each stand with different variable combinations and, consequently, to choose the best measurement combination in different stands.
article id 595, category Research article
Forecasting probability distributions of forest yield allowing for a Bayesian approach to management planning. Silva Fennica vol. 35 no. 2 article id 595. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.595
Probability distributions of stand basal area were predicted and evaluated in young mixed stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and birch (Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh.) in Sweden. Based on an extensive survey of young stands, individual tree basal area growth models were estimated using a mixed model approach to account for dependencies in data and derive the variance/covariance components needed. While most of the stands were reinventoried only once, a subset of the stands was revisited a second time. This subset was used to evaluate the accuracy of the predicted stand basal area distributions. Predicting distributions of forest yield, rather than point estimates, allows for a Bayesian approach to planning and decisions can be made with due regard to the quality of the information.
article id 620, category Research article
Performance of percentile based diameter distribution prediction and Weibull method in independent data sets. Silva Fennica vol. 34 no. 4 article id 620. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.620
Diameter distribution is used in most forest management planning packages for predicting stand volume, timber volume and stand growth. The prediction of diameter distribution can be based on parametric distribution functions, distribution-free parametric prediction methods or purely non-parametric methods. In the first case, the distribution is obtained by predicting the parameters of some probability density function. In a distribution-free percentile method, the diameters at certain percentiles of the distribution are predicted with models. In non-parametric methods, the predicted distribution is a linear combination of similar measured stands. In this study, the percentile based diameter distribution is compared to the results obtained with the Weibull method in four independent data sets. In the case of Scots pine, the other methods are also compared to k-nearest neighbour method. The comparison was made with respect to the accuracy of predicted stand volume, saw timber volume and number of stems. The predicted percentile and Weibull distributions were calibrated using number of stems measured from the stand. The information of minimum and maximum diameters were also used, for re-scaling the percentile based distribution or for parameter recovery of Weibull parameters. The accuracy of the predicted stand characteristics were also compared for calibrated distributions. The most reliable results were obtained using the percentile method with the model set including number of stems as a predictor. Calibration improved the results in most cases. However, using the minimum and maximum diameters for parameter recovery proved to be inefficient.
article id 619, category Research article
Percentile based basal area diameter distribution models for Scots pine, Norway spruce and birch species. Silva Fennica vol. 34 no. 4 article id 619. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.619
Information about diameter distribution is used for predicting stand total volume, timber volume and stand growth for forest management planning. Often, the diameter distribution is obtained by predicting the parameters of some probability density function, using means and sums of tree characters as predictors. However, the results have not always been satisfactory: the predicted distributions practically always have a similar shape. Also, multimodal distributions cannot be obtained. However, diameter distribution can also be predicted using distribution-free methods. In the percentile method, the diameters at certain percentiles of the distribution are predicted with models. The empirical diameter distribution function is then obtained by interpolating between the predicted diameters. In this paper, models for diameters at 12 percentiles of stand basal area are presented for Scots pine, Norway spruce and birch species. Two sets of models are estimated: a set with and one without number of stems as a predictor. Including the number of stems as a predictor improved the volume and saw timber volume estimates for all species, but the improvements were especially high for number of stems estimates obtained from the predicted distribution. The use of number of stems as predictor in models is based on the possibility of including this characteristic to measured stand variables.
article id 618, category Research article
Predictions of forest inventory cover type proportions using Landsat TM. Silva Fennica vol. 34 no. 4 article id 618. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.618
The feasibility of generating via Landsat TM data current estimates of cover type proportions for areas lacking this information in the national forest inventory was explored by a case study in New Brunswick. A recent forest management inventory covering 4196 km2 in south-eastern New Brunswick (the test area) and a coregistered Landsat TM scene was used to develop predictive models of 12 cover type proportions in an adjacent 4525 km2 region (the validation area). Four prediction models were considered, one using a maximum likelihood classifier (MLC), and three using the proportions of 30 TM clusters as predictors. The MLC was superior for non-vegetated cover types while a neural net or a prorating of cluster proportions was chosen for predicting vegetated cover types. Most predictions generated for national inventory photo-plots of 2 x 2 km were closer to the most recent inventory results than estimates extrapolated from the test area. Agreement between predictions and current inventory results varied considerably among cover types with model-based predictions outperforming, on average, the simple spatial extensions by about 14%. In this region, an 11-year-old forest inventory for the validation area provided estimates that in half the cases were closer to current inventory estimates than predictions using the optimal Landsat TM model. A strong temporal correlation of photo-plot-level cover type proportions made old-values more consistent than predictions using the optimal Landsat TM model in all but three cases. Prorating of cluster proportions holds promise for large-scale multi-sensor predictions of forest inventory cover types.
article id 617, category Research article
A comparison of two parameter prediction methods for stand structure in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 34 no. 4 article id 617. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.617
The objective of this paper was to predict a model for describing stand structure of tree heights (h) and diameters at breast height (dbh). The research material consisted of data collected from 64 stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) and 91 stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) located in southern Finland. Both stand types contained birch (Betula pendula Roth and B. pubescent Ehrh.) admixtures. The traditional univariate approach (Model I) of using the dbh distribution (Johnson’s SB) together with a height curve (Näslund’s function) was compared against the bivariate approaches, Johnson’s SBB distribution (Model II) and Model Ie. In Model Ie within-dbh-class h-variation was included by transforming a normally distributed homogenous error of linearized Näslund’s function to concern real heights. Basal-area-weighted distributions were estimated using the maximum likelihood (ML) method. Species-specific prediction models were derived using linear regression analysis. The models were compared with Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests for marginal distributions, accuracy of stand variables and the dbh-h relationship of individual trees. The differences in the stand characteristics between the models were marginal. Model I gave a slightly better fit for spruce, but Model II was better for pine stands. The univariate Model I resulted in clearly too narrow marginal h-distribution for pine. It is recommended applying of a constrained ML method for reasonable dbh-h relationship instead of using a pure ML method when fitting the SBB model.
article id 651, category Research article
Optimization bias in forest management planning solutions due to errors in forest variables. Silva Fennica vol. 33 no. 4 article id 651. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.651
The yield of various forest variables is predicted by means of a simulation system to provide information for forest management planning. These predictions contain many kinds of uncertainty, for example, prediction and measurement errors. Inevitably, this has an effect on forest management planning. It is well known that uncertainty in the forest yields causes optimistic bias in the observed values of the objective function. This bias increases with the error variances. The amount of bias, however, also depends on the error structure and the relations between the objective variables. In this paper, the effect of uncertainty in forest yields on optimization is studied by simulation. The effect of two different sources of error, the correlation structure of these errors and relations among the objective variables are considered, as well as the effect of two different optimization approaches. The relations between the objective variables and the error structure had a notable effect on the optimization results.
article id 650, category Research article
Improving the accuracy of predicted basal-area diameter distribution in advanced stands by determining stem number. Silva Fennica vol. 33 no. 4 article id 650. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.650
The objective of this paper was to study to what extent the accuracy of predicted basal-area diameter distributions (DDG) could be improved by means of stem number observations in advanced (H > 10 m) stands. In the Finnish forest management planning (FMP) inventory practice, stem number is determined only in young stands; in older stands stand basal area is used. The study material consisted of sixty stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) and ninety-one stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) with birch (Betula pendula Roth and B. pubescens Ehrh.) admixtures in southern and eastern Finland. For test data, 167–292 independent, National Forest Inventory-based, permanent sample plots were used. DDGs were estimated with the maximum likelihood method. Species-specific models for predicting the distribution parameters were derived using regression analysis. The two-parameter Weibull distribution was compared to the three-parameter Johnson’s SB distributions in predicting DDGs. The models were based on either predictors that are consistent with current FMP (model G), or assuming an additional stem number observation (model G+N). The predicted distributions were compared in terms of the derived stand variables: stem number, total and timber volumes. The results were similar in modelling and test data sets. Methods, based on the SB distribution obtained with model (G+N), proved to give the most accurate description of the stand structure. Differences were marginal in stand total volumes. However, the error variation in stem number was 20% to 80% lower than when applying model (G). SB and Weibull distributions gave very much the same results if model (G) was applied.
article id 5609, category Article
Comparing basal area diameter distributions estimated by tree species and for the entire growing stock in a mixed stand. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 1 article id 5609. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a8510
The purpose of this study was to compare the Weibull distributions estimated for the entire growing stock of a stand and separately for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) in describing the basal area diameter distributions in mixed stands. The material for this study was obtained by measuring 553 stands located in eastern Finland. The parameters of the Weibull distribution were estimated using the method of maximum likelihood. The models for these parameters were derived using regression analysis. Also, some parameter models from previous studies were compared with the measured distribution. The obtained distributions were compared using the diameter sums of the entire growing stock, diameter sums by tree species and of the sawtimber part of the growing stock. The results showed that far more accurate results were obtained when the distributions were formed using parameter models separately for the different tree species than when using parameter models for the entire growing stock. This was already true when considering the entire growing stock of the stand and especially when the results were examined by tree species. When the models for the entire growing stock were applied by tree species in relation to basal areas, the results obtained were overestimates for Norway spruce and underestimates for Scots pine. The models from earlier studies, where parameter models were estimated separately for tree species from the National Forest Inventory data, showed good fits also in regard to the data of this study.
article id 5592, category Article
Regional predictions concerning the effects of climate change on forests in southern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5592. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9237
A gap-model was used with forest inventory data in taking ground-true site, soil and tree characteristics into account in predicting the effects of climate change on forests. A total of 910 permanent sample plots established in the course of national forest inventory (NFI) in Finland and located on mineral soil sites in southern Finland were selected as the input data. The climatological input used in the simulations consisted of interpolated means of and deviations from long-term local temperature and precipitation records. The policy-oriented climate scenarios of SILMU (Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change) were used to describe the climate change. The temperature changes in the climate scenarios were increases of ca. +1.1 °C (low), +4.4 °C (medium) and +6.6 °C (high) compared to the current climate in 110 years. The simulation period was 110 years covering the time years 1990–2100.
Southern Finland, divided into fifteen forestry board districts, was used as the study region. Regional development of stand volume, cutting yield, and total wood production of forests under different climate scenarios were examined. The annual average growth in simulations under current climate was close to that observed in NFL Forests benefited from a modest temperature increase (Scenario 2), but under Scenario 1 the growing stock remained at a lower level than under the current climate in all parts of the study region. In wood production and cutting yield there were regional differences. In the southern part of the study regional wood production under Scenario 1 was ca. 10% lower than under the current climate, but in the eastern and western parts wood production was 5–15% higher under Scenario 1 than under the current climate. The relative values of total wood production and cutting yield indicated that the response of forests to climate change varied by geographical location and the magnitude of climate change. This may be a consequence of not just varying climatic (e.g. temperature and precipitation) and site conditions, but of varying responses by different kind of forests (e.g. forests differing in tree species composition and age).
article id 5376, category Article
Predicting diameter growth in even-aged Scots pine stands with a spatial and non-spatial model. Silva Fennica vol. 23 no. 2 article id 5376. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15533
The single tree growth models presented in this study were based on about 4,000 trees measured in 50 even-aged Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) sample plots with varying density, spatial pattern of trees and stand age. Predictors that used information about tree locations decreased the relative standard error of estimate by 10 percentage points (15%), if past growth was not used as a predictor, and about 15 percentage points (30%) when past growth was one of the predictors. When ranked according to the degree of determination, the best growth models were obtained for the basal area increment, the next best for relative growth, and the poorest for diameter increment. The past growth decreased the relative standard error of estimate by 15–20 percentage points, but did not make the spatial predictors unnecessary. The degree of determination of the spatial basal area growth model was almost 80% if the past growth was unknown and almost 90% if the past growth was known. Variables that described the amount of removed competition did not improve the growth models.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
article id 7519, category Article
Pre-harvest measurement of pine stands for sawing production planning. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 259 article id 7519. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7519
To enhance the utilization of the wood, the sawmills are forced to place more emphasis on planning to master the whole production chain from the forest to the end product. One significant obstacle to integrating the forest-sawmill-market production chain is the lack of appropriate information about forest stands. Since the wood procurement point of view in forest planning systems has been almost totally disregarded there has been a great need to develop an easy and efficient pre-harvest measurement method, allowing separate measurement of stands prior to harvesting. The main purpose of this study was to develop a measurement method for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands which forest managers could use in describing the properties of the standing trees for sawing production planning.
Study materials were collected from ten Scots pine stands located in North Häme and South Pohjanmaa, in Southern Finland. The data comprise test sawing data on 314 pine stems, diameter at breast height (dbh) and height measures of all trees and measures of the quality parameters of pine sawlog stems in all ten study stands as well as the locations of all trees in six stands. The study was divided into four sub-studies which deal with pine quality prediction, construction of diameter and dead branch height distributions, sampling designs and applying height and crown height models. The final proposal for the pre-harvest measurement method is a synthesis of the individual sub-studies.
Quality analysis resulted in choosing dbh, distance from stump height to the first dead branch, crown height and tree height as the most appropriate quality characteristics of Scots pine. Dbh and dead branch height are measured from each pine sample tree while height and crown height are derived from dbh measures by aid of mixed height and crown height models. Pine and spruce diameter distribution as well as dead branch height distribution are most effectively predicted by the kernel function. Roughly 25 sample trees seem to be appropriate in pure pine stands. In mixed stands the number of sample trees needs to be increased in proportion to the intensity of pines in order to attain the same level of accuracy.