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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Sustaining Forests

Optimal Stocking

[image:] Stochastic stocking chartResearch Issue

Foresters use management guides as aids to adjust the stocking of forest stands under management. Typically in uneven-aged forests, foresters manage to some target negative exponential distribution model of the stand diameter distribution. However, mathematical optimization methods provide a better approach to the management of uneven-aged stands, allowing the determination of an optimal diameter distribution based on underlying growth models, given some target objective and sustainability constraints. Optimal uneven-aged stocking guide development is an area of research that is critical to the optimal management of uneven-aged forest stands, and can be used in adaptive management.

Our Research

Past research in this area has extended classic optimization models for uneven-aged stands into the stochastic realm, and incorporated methods for maintaining and maximizing structural diversity. However, none of the guides developed have been useful for large areas, such as the spruce-fir forest in Maine. Further research will provide optimal guides that could maximize standing biomass (carbon), vertical structural diversity, financial objectives, or combinations of these and other variables important to managing these component stands of northern forest types.

Expected Outcomes

Optimal stand management guides for implementing uneven-aged management in the northeastern U.S. Research papers, workshops, and computer software.

Research Results

Gove, J. H. 1997. Optimizing the management of uneven-aged spruce-fir stands while preserving structural diversity. Invited paper presented at the Monte Verità Conference on Assessment of Biodiversity for Improved Forest Planning, October 7-11, 1996, Monte Verità, Switzerland. In: P. Bachmann, M. Köhl, R. Päivinen, (ed.), Assessment of Biodiversity for Improved Forest Planning. Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 123-134.

Gove, J.H., G.P. Patil, and C. Taillie. 1996. Diversity measurement and comparisons with examples. Invited paper presented at the Symposium on Biodiversity in Managed Landscapes: Theory and Practice, July 13-17, 1992, Sacramento, CA. In: R.C. Szaro and D.W. Johnston, (eds.), Biodiversity in Managed Landscapes: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press, p. 157-175.

Gove, J.H., G.P. Patil, and C. Taillie. 1995. A mathematical programming model for maintaining structural diversity in uneven-aged forest stands with implications to other formulations. Ecological Modelling 79:11-19.

Gove, J. H., S. E. Fairweather, and D. S. Solomon. 1994. Optimizing the horizontal structural diversity in uneven-aged northern hardwood stands. Environmental and Ecological Statistics. 1:109-120.

Gove, J.H., Patil, G.P., Swindel, B.F., and Taillie, C. 1994. Ecological diversity and forest management. In: G.P. Patil, C.R. Rao, and N.P. Ross, (eds.), Handbook of Statistics Volume 12: Environmental Statistics. North Holland/Elsevier Science Publishers, New York. p. 409-462.

Gove, J.H., and Fairweather, S.E. 1992. Optimizing the management of uneven-aged stands: A stochastic approach. Forest Science 38(3):623-640.

Gove, J. H., D. S. Solomon, S. E. Fairweather, and G. P. Patil. 1991. Maximizing the diameter class diversity of uneven-aged northern hardwood stands. In: M. A. Buford (Comp.), Proceedings of the 1991 Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources. GTR SE-74, USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. p.39-45.

Research Participants

Principal Investigator

  • J.H. Gove, US Forest Service- Northern Research Station Research Forester

Research Partner

  • Mark J. Ducey, University of New Hampshire

Last Modified: 06/05/2009