Modeling growth dynamics of juvenile loblolly pine plantations
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Modeling growth dynamics of juvenile loblolly pine plantations can help to address important management decisions that have to be made in young stands. The present study addressed diameter and height prediction as well as crown development analysis as functions of independent variables such as site index, relative spacing and age for trees younger than ten years old. It was found that height prediction for trees one and two years old was a function of the products of the variables site index and age (or square root of age) and relative spacing and age (or square root of age). For trees three years old and older these were also the independent variables used to explain height prediction but in this case age (or square root of age) was another significant independent variable. In regard to diameter prediction it was observed that groundline diameter was a function of age for trees one and two years old; while this variable was also a function of site index and relative spacing for trees three, four and five years old. For trees older than five years old diameter at breast height was a function of age, site index and relative spacing. The analysis of crown development showed that for trees five years old and older variables like diameter at breast height, total height, age, site index and relative spacing were significant when crown ratio was the dependent variable. For trees younger than five years old, groundline diameter and the other same independent variables (i.e. total height, age, index and relative spacing) were again found significant when crown ratio was the dependent variable.
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