Foresters were concerned that site index estimates from the growth intercept models for white spruce were too high in the Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS) biogeoclimatic zone. The purpose of this research was to validate the growth intercept models for spruce in the BWBS zone and re-fit the models. At the same time, additional Site Index-Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (SIBEC) data were collected to bolster the spruce data in the BWBS zone. Two types of data were collected: stem analysis data for growth intercept model validation and SIBEC data. The stem analysis data followed the stem analysis standards for site index research. Natural stands were targeted for sampling, and the stem splitting and node measuring technique was used to collect the data. These data were also suitable as SIBEC data. The SIBEC data collection followed the SIBEC data collection standards, targeting managed stands. Twenty stem analysis plots and 21 SIBEC plots were established; two stem analysis plots had damaged trees and were rejected. The validation showed that the existing white spruce growth intercept models are satisfactory for use in the BWBS zone. Nevertheless, the stem analysis data were blended with the data used to develop the existing growth intercept models and were re-fit to strengthen and extend the models. The SIBEC data will be added to the SIBEC data warehouse so that new SIBEC site index estimates will be generated in the next SIBEC approximation.
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Updated May 11, 2007