Modeling diameter growth in local populations: a case study involving four North American deciduous species

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Many existing models representing the growth of forest overstory species as a function of environmental conditions make a number of assumptions which are inappropriate when applied to local populations. For example, maximum tree diameter and height are often assumed to be constant limiting factors for a given species even though growth functions can often be localized by utilizing information in the forest growth and yield literature to make site-specific estimates of these values. Most existing models also use an annual timestep which may be inappropriate when attempting to model the growth response of individual trees to environmental conditions. In this study, a model utilizing a weekly timestep is described and applied to four widespread North American deciduous tree species. Because response to environmental conditions can vary regionally as a result of genetic heterogeneity, the resulting model should not be considered as universally appropriate for these species. This study illustrates methods which can be utilized to develop models for application to local populations. © 1992.

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Forest Ecology and Management