European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 126, Issue 2, pp 253–262 | Cite as

Regional mixed-effects height–diameter models for loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations

  • Guillermo TrincadoEmail author
  • Curtis L. VanderSchaaf
  • Harold E. Burkhart
Original Paper


A height–diameter mixed-effects model was developed for loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations in the southeastern US. Data were obtained from a region-wide thinning study established by the Loblolly Pine Growth and Yield Research Cooperative at Virginia Tech. The height–diameter model was based on an allometric function, which was linearized to include both fixed- and random-effects parameters. A test of regional-specific fixed-effects parameters indicated that separate equations were needed to estimate total tree heights in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain physiographic regions. The effect of sample size on the ability to estimate random-effects parameters in a new plot was analyzed. For both regions, an increase in the number of sample trees decreased the bias when the equation was applied to independent data. This investigation showed that the use of a calibrated response using one sample tree per plot makes the inclusion of additional predictor variables (e.g., stand density) unnecessary. A numerical example demonstrates the methodology used to predict random effects parameters, and thus, to estimate plot specific height–diameter relationships.


Height–diameter relationship Forest inventory Linear mixed-effects model Pinus taeda 



Data for this study and financial support were provided through the Loblolly Pine Growth and Yield Research Cooperative, Department of Forestry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Trincado
    • 1
    Email author
  • Curtis L. VanderSchaaf
    • 1
  • Harold E. Burkhart
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ForestryVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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