Modeling the biomass partitioning of loblolly pine grown in a miniature-scale plantation

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Virginia Tech

Stand conditions influence the partitioning of biomass to stem, foliage, branch, and root components. Using data from 4 to 6-year old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) trees grown in a miniature-scale spacing trial, this study determined the effect of initial planting density on the biomass partitioning of loblolly pine. An analysis of covariance concluded that density did not have a significant effect on the relative amount of biomass in aboveground components.Some measures of partitioning tradeoffs (such as root: shoot ratio) showed a significant positive slope when regressed against trees per hectare. Systems of linear equations were developed based on tree measurements and age, and additivity was specified. By taking into account contemporaneous correlations among tree components, seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) methodologies led to efficient parameter estimates. When compared to studies with mature trees at operational scales, results from the miniature-scale trees showed similar trends. Stem and woody roots were 70 and 14% of total mass, respectively. Since these miniature-scale trees were physiologically young at time of harvest, allocation of mass to foliage continued to be a priority, occupying 10% of total mass.

seemingly unrelated regression, additivity, planting density, live crown ratio, Pinus taeda L.