Research article

Taper functions and merchantable timber for temperate forests of northern Mexico

José Návar , F. de Jesús Rodríguez-Flores, Pedro A. Domínguez-Calleros

José Návar
Natural Resource Management- CIIDIR- IPN Unidad Durango. Sigma s/n. Fraccionamiento 20 de Noviembre II. C.P. 34220. Durango, Dgo., México. Email: jnavar@ipn.mx
F. de Jesús Rodríguez-Flores
Environmental Technology. Universidad Politecnica de Durango. Carr. Mexico. Km 9.5. Dolores Hidalgo, Durango
Pedro A. Domínguez-Calleros
Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, UJED. Rio Papaloapan S/n. Durango, Dgo., México

Online First: April 10, 2013
Návar, J., de Jesús Rodríguez-Flores, F., Domínguez-Calleros, P. 2013. Taper functions and merchantable timber for temperate forests of northern Mexico. Annals of Forest Research 56(1): 165-178.


Taper functions are required in modern forest management in estimation of the end forest products, to be classified for their life time in the environment. Based on a sample of 1640 trees of 10 species measured in volume, biomass and taper project on Mexicos northern temperate, mixed, uneven-aged coniferous forests, 12 stem profile taper functions were fitted in order to select the equation that provides better diameter estimates at commercial tree height. Although several equations fitted better specific tree species, the Newnham (1990) equation consistently yielded better diameter estimates at any length of the stem for all studied species. The confidence intervals on the Newnham (1990) equation parameters showed that each species has an unique stem profile and, therefore, single parameter equations are reported. Because of lack of analytical integration, the recommended taper equation (when numerically integrated) provided compatible, unbiased total bole volume when contrasted to conventional timber volume assessments. Data for 637 circular, 1/10 ha, plots from temperate forests of Central Durango, Mexico estimated a mean of 135 m3 ha-1, of which 18, 59, 30, and 17 m3 ha-1 could be classified as poles, sawn wood, plywood and secondary forest products, respectively. This information can be used for the planning of the forest industry to optimize forest products derived from timber harvesting, as well as for estimating other environmental components. 

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