Publication Details

Is there a better metric than site index to indicate the productivity of forested lands?

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Year Published

2009

Publication

In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; McWilliams, William H., eds. Proceedings of the eighth annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; 2006 October 16-19; Monterey, CA. Gen. Tech. Report WO-79. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 355-362.

Abstract

The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program selects site trees for each plot that are used to measure site productivity. The ability of a site to produce wood volume is indicated indirectly by comparing total tree height with tree age. This comparison assumes that the rate of height growth is strongly related to site quality and is insensitive to basal area, species composition, and stand structure. Research indicates that stand age is often difficult to determine, especially in uneven-aged stands. Furthermore, stands with mixed species compositions and less than full stocking cause problems when using site index as a predictor of site growing capacity. Now that the FIA program has thousands of plots in which volume has been remeasured, other metrics for site quality can be evaluated by noting the observed past growth of the trees on the plot and comparing it with the height-age relationship. This study describes the first steps of this effort.

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Citation

Martin, Maria E. Blanco; Hoppus, Michael; Lister, Andrew; Westfall, James A. 2009. Is there a better metric than site index to indicate the productivity of forested lands?. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; McWilliams, William H., eds. Proceedings of the eighth annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; 2006 October 16-19; Monterey, CA. Gen. Tech. Report WO-79. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 355-362.

Last updated on: November 25, 2009