Research article

Modelling merchantable volumes for uneven aged maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) stands establi-shed by natural regeneration in the central Portugal

Cristina Alegria

Cristina Alegria
Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco - Escola Superior Agrária, Technical and Scientific Unit of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, Quinta da Senhora de Mércules, 6001-909 Castelo Branco, Portugal. Email: crisalegria@ipcb.pt

Online First: May 17, 2011
Alegria, C. 2011. Modelling merchantable volumes for uneven aged maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) stands establi-shed by natural regeneration in the central Portugal. Annals of Forest Research 54(2): 197-214.


Uneven aged maritime pine stands established by natural regeneration have a great expression in Portugal. These stands being overstocked, as opposed to those established from plantations, provide straight and cylindrical tree boles and logs with less knots that makes them very suitable for certain industrial purposes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to fit a set of equations to predict total volume and merchantable volumes to any merchantable limit for uneven aged maritime pine stands established by natural regeneration in the central inland region of Portugal. Data were collected in 30 circular sampling plots of 500 m2 of area, on 1426 trees and 314 sample trees for volume assessment, corresponding to 2353 diameter/height mea-surements. A total height equation, a total volume equation, a volume ratio equation to any top height limit and a taper equation, over bark, were fitted. To select among the best models, several statistics were computed during model fitting and the independent validation procedure to evaluate model fitting, collinearity and prediction performances. A ranking index was used to support the final decision. The models selected were then fitted again using robust regression and weighted regression techniques, because studentized residuals distribution normality and homogeneity assumptions were not observed. This research showed that the models selected for these stands were not the same as those selected in previous studies for the species in this region, suggesting that these results may be due to the influence of stand density conditions on diameter and total height growth, and consequently, on stem form and volume. This set of equations will also be included as components in a single tree growth and yield model developed for these stands. 

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