Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FII Project R04-003

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Growth prediction of canopy trees in complex structured mixed-species stands

Author(s): Coates, Dave (BC Ministry of Forests)
Subject: Ecology, Forestry, Silviculture/Forest Management Systems, Technology/GIS/Modeling/Remote Sensing
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


Partial harvesting requires consideration of an almost infinite variety of spatial configurations of the level of removal of different species and tree sizes within a stand, and an almost infinite variety of permutations of residual stand conditions. Today, forest managers face a complex set of trade-offs in the maintenance of ecological and aesthetic goals, while providing economically viable yields. This study will develop an extension of traditional distance-dependent, spatial competition models that allows independent estimates of (1) the potential maximum tree growth for a given set of climatic and edaphic conditions, as a function of tree species and size, and (2) the magnitude of the competitive effects of neighbouring trees on target tree growth as a function of the species, size, and distance to neighbouring trees. The analyses will provide empirical estimates of inter- and intraspecific competition coefficients, and explicitly partition the competitive effects of neighbours into the effects of shading and crowding. Data will be used from permanent plots in mapped forest stands, and the results will be incorporated into the spatially-explicit SORTIE-BC forest dynamics model. Data from our analysis can be used to aid the development of silvicultural systems that optimize yield by managing for specific mixtures and spatial configurations of species.

For further information, please contact Dave Coates, BC Ministry of Forests (

Updated September 08, 2005 

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