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Title: Crown structure and growth efficiency of red spruce in uneven-aged, mixed-species stands in Maine
Author: Maguire, Douglas A.; Brissette, John C.; Gu, Lianhong.
Publication: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 28: 1233-1240.
Abstract: Several hypotheses about the relationships among individual tree growth, tree leaf area, and relative tree size or position were tested with red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) growing in uneven-aged, mixed-species forests of south-central Maine, U.S.A. Based on data from 65 sample trees, predictive models were developed to (i) estimate the amount of foliage held by individual trees from sapwood cross-sectional area and (ii) define the relationship between stem volume growth and three variables: total foliage area, relative position in the stand, and the degree of past suppression. A model that included variables representing tree size (or relative social position) and degree of past suppression (live branch whorls per unit crown length) indicated that stem volume growth first increased but later decreased over leaf area when other variables were held constant. Growth efficiency declined with increasing tree leaf area, although greater height and diameter enhanced growth efficiency and greater past suppression diminished growth efficiency. The decline in growth efficiency with greater leaf area likely is attributable to one or several of the factors previously identified as contributing to growth declines in mature, even-aged stands.
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