Journal Article

Modelling vertical allocation of tree stem and branch volume for hardwoods

Neil R. Ver Planck and David W. MacFarlane

in Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research

Published on behalf of Institute of Chartered Foresters

Volume 87, issue 3, pages 459-469
Published in print July 2014 | ISSN: 0015-752X
Published online March 2014 | e-ISSN: 1464-3626 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/forestry/cpu007
Modelling vertical allocation of tree stem and branch volume for hardwoods

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  • Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science)
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Whole-tree volume equations are in great demand due to the need to quantify the distribution of wood volume within trees for estimating whole-tree utilization potential. While main stem volume has been extensively studied, related to computing the merchantable timber volume of trees, the relative volume of branches has received much less attention. It is particularly challenging to quantify branch volume in trees with deliquescent branching architecture (i.e. hardwoods) where branching is complex and not strongly controlled by a dominant stem. Here, new mixed-effects cumulative volume profiles are presented that allow for simultaneous volume estimation of the dominant stem and whole tree from ground to the top of the tree. Cumulative branch volume can be estimated at different relative heights from the whole-tree and dominant stem profiles by simple subtraction. The models were developed from destructive sampling of 32 trees from a temperate hardwood forest in Michigan, US. The species in the sample were primarily American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.). The results produce whole-tree cumulative volume models that include all branches in trees and demonstrates the value of studying the whole tree even when the dominant stem is the object of interest.

Journal Article.  6531 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Conservation of the Environment (Environmental Science) ; Environmental Sustainability ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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