Relationships between tree crown, stem and stand characteristics in loblolly pine plantations
Sprinz, Peter T.
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Empirical and theoretical relationships between tree crown, stem and stand characteristics for unthinned and thinned stands of planted loblolly pine were investigated. The individual tree crown measurements of crown diameter (CD) and crown projection area (CPA), and stand level measurement of the sum of crown projection areas (SCPA) were particularly important in contributing to high levels of model fit and prediction abilities of common stem and stand characteristics. As these crown measures developed over time so did corresponding stem and stand attributes. The results were similar for trees and stands located in unthinned or thinned situations; however, a limited range of data may have accounted for these similarities. The stem attributes modeled included basal area and diameter and associated growth, while the stand attributes modeled were basal area and mean dbh and associated growth. Models were also developed for the individual tree crown characteristics of CD and growth, CPA, and height to crown diameter, and for the stand level crown attributes of SCPA and growth, mean crown projection area and mean height to crown diameter. Several common competition indices were adapted to include crown information and various structural changes. The most effective competition measures in helping to predict basal area growth were point in time crown measures of SCPA and CD for trees located in unthinned stands and SCPA and CPA for trees located in thinned stands. Lastly, the effects of planting rectangularity on stem basal area growth were investigated. Two measures of rectangularity were calculated: one dealing with the ratio of distances between adjacent competing trees and another involving the ratio of the major and minor axis distances of a subject tree's crown diameter. Depending on the age of the stand,. these measures of rectangularity were found to be significant in negatively affecting stem basal area growth of trees located in unthinned stands.
- Doctoral Dissertations