Modelling the distribution of diameter growth along the stem in Scots pine
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This paper presents an empirical model for the distribution of diameter growth along the stem in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and for the consequent stem form over time. First, the distribution of annual mass growth in the stem is determined as a function of the total annual growth in stem mass, current stem mass and the distribution of the latter along the stem. Second, the distribution of diameter growth is obtained by converting the fraction of annual growth in the stem mass at a given height in the stem into the thickness of the annual ring at the same height. Application of the model to Scots pine data sets including both young and mature trees not used in parameter estimation showed that the model was capable of reconstructing the distribution of diameter growth from the stem butt to the apex and from the pith to the stem surface at any height in the stem in both young and mature trees. The resulting empirical model was also linked to a physiological, process-based model in order to study its performance in a simulated stand. Simulations representing trees grown in unthinned and thinned Scots pine stands with trees of different status (from dominant to suppressed) showed that the response in tree growth to thinning in terms of the distribution of diameter growth along the stem was quite realistic relative to measured data.
KeywordsDiameter growth Stem form Pinus sylvestris Modelling Thinning
This work was mainly funded through the Finnish Centre of Excellence Programme (2000–2005), under the Centre of Excellence for Forest Ecology and Management (Project no. 64308), co-ordinated by Prof. Seppo Kellomäki, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry. The research was also partly supported through the EC Project “Compression Wood” (2001–2004) (contract no. QLK5-CT-2001-00177), and the WOOD MATERIAL Research Programme promoted by the Academy of Finland (2003–2005), under the project “Influence of environmental factors, forest structure and silvicultural practices on Scots pine, Norway spruce and birch properties” (Project no. 202835), led by Prof. Heli Peltola, Faculty of Forestry, University of Joensuu. Support provided by the Academy of Finland, the National Technology Agency (Tekes) and the University of Joensuu is acknowledged. Mr. Jarmo Pennala and Ms. Marja Kuskelin are thanked for their technical assistance regarding the sample data measurements, and Mr. Malcolm Hicks for revising the English of the manuscript.
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