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Möller Pedersen, Sören (2007) Models of individual tree mortality for trembling aspen, lodgepole pine, hybrid spruce and subalpine fir in northwestern British Columbia. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

Density dependent mortality is an important process in forest succession. The overall predictive abilities of forest simulation models are closely related to their ability to predict mortality. Finding appropriate methods for modelling mortality have often proved to be a difficult challenge. The objective of this study was to test a method on adult trees, which was previously used for modelling density dependent mortality for saplings with good results. In the basic model mortality is predicted as a function of recent diameter growth. It was also tested if incorporating tree size into the mortality model improved it. Models were developed for four species: trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud. var. latifolia), hybrid spruce (a complex of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmanii Parry ex Engelm.)) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.). The models were parameterized from field data using a maximum-likelihood method. Field data was gathered from 16 stands in the Sub-Boreal Spruce Zone in northwestern British Columbia and comprised of 337 live and 345 recently dead trees in total. The mortality models were tested by incorporating them into the individual tree, spatially explicit forest simulation model SORTIE-ND. SORTIE-ND simulations of single species even-aged stands were compared to simulations of a commonly used stand level simulation model. Furthermore, SORTIE-ND simulations of permanent sample plots in mixed species uneven-aged stands were compared to remeasurements of the plots. It was determined that incorporating tree size into the mortality models gave better fits to the field data. Tolerance to low growth decreases to a minimum at intermediate trees size for all species except for subalpine fir, where it decreases and remains low as trees growth larger. This is probably an effect of the ontogenetic characteristics of the individual species. Testing the mortality models in SORTIE-ND showed that they contribute to realistic thinning patterns in simulations of both pure even-aged stands and complex stands. However, it was evident that the performance of the mortality models is highly dependent on the underlying growth models as well as mortality models accounting for random mortality. Discrepancies in modelling results were linked to over- and underestimation of growth or inappropriate random mortality rates. Overall the tested method provides a straight forwards approach to parameterizing growth based mortality models from field data which is relatively easy to obtain.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Tree mortality, density dependent mortality, statistical models, SORTIE-ND, British Columbia, sub-boreal spruce zone
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Forest Sciences
Depositing User: Inga-Lis Johansson
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:48
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/1528

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