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Linking growth modelling to timber quality assessment for Norway spruce

Forest Ecology and Management
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0378-1127(94)03510-4
  • Wood Quality
  • Growth And Yield
  • Modelling
  • Forest Inventory
  • Picea Abies
  • Medicine


Abstract The aim of this paper is to propose a consistent framework for analyzing the influence of silviculture, site quality and, to some extent, genetics on the wood production of Norway spruce from both a quantitative and a qualitative point of view. Tree and stand volume, stem taper, wood basic density, proportion of juvenile wood as well as knottiness are considered as the result of growth processes. Two complementary applications are presented. (1) An average-tree growth model which is built of several interrelated processes: site quality has an effect on height growth and hence on all other tree and stand characteristics; crown development is driven by height growth and controlled by stand density; stand basal area increment is predicted from empirical rules; tree basal area increment is then distributed along the stem. (2) A model that aims at assessing timber quality of a standing tree from usual inventory measurements such as tree age, height and diameter at breast height: growth equations are used to reconstruct the past growth of a tree and to predict its current internal structure, namely ring distribution. Both models are linked to allometric equations that estimate the characteristics of branchiness, to densitometric models that predict wood basic density from ring distribution and to a software that simulates the grading of any board located in a stem whose morphology is known in detail. The aim of these models is not to make precise quantitative predictions but to show how different pieces of knowledge of silviculturists, forest biometricians and wood scientists may be brought together in simulation software in order to help forest managers and wood industrialists to make decisions. This framework could be extended to other fast-growing coniferous species.

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