Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
Using literature and a simulator experiment, an ordinary processor and a grapple loader processor were compared in conditions corresponding to thinning later than the first commercial thinning. Visual bucking only was employed in the simulator experiment. The strip road spacing was 30 m and there was no preliminary skidding of the trees. The simulator experiment confirmed the view reached in the literature that work productivity of the grappler loader processor is 20–40 % greater than that of an ordinary processor provided that the stem size is under 0.2–0.4 m3.
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A nonlinear programming algorithm was combined with two individual-tree growth simulators consisting of distance-independent diameter and height growth models and mortality models. Management questions that can be addressed by the optimization model include the timing, intensity and type of thinning, rotation age, and initial density. The results were calculated for Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) stands on Oxalis-Myrtillus site in Southern Finland, where the stand density after clearing of a seedling stand is about 2,000 trees/ha.
The optimum thinning programs were characterized by late first thinnings (at dominant height of 15–17 m) and relatively high growing stock levels. It was optimal to thin from above, unless mean annual increment was maximized instead of an economic objective. In most cases, the optimum number of thinnings was two or three. Compared to a no-thinning alternative, thinnings increased revenues by 15 –45% depending on the objective of stand management. Optimum rotation was strongly dependent on the interest rate.
Hooke and Jeeves’ direct search method was used for determining optimum solutions. The performance of the optimization algorithm was examined in terms of the number of functional evaluations and the equivalence of the objective function values of repeated optimizations.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.