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A Basal Area Increment-Based Approach of Site Productivity Evaluation for Multi-Aged and Mixed Forests

Fu, Liyong, Sharma, Ram P., Zhu, Guangyu, Li, Haikui, Hong, Lingxia, Guo, Hong, Duan, Guangshuang, Shen, Chenchen, Lei, Yuancai, Li, Yutang, Lei, Xiangdong, Tang, Shouzheng
Forests 2017 v.8 no.4
deciduous forests, decision making, forest inventory, forest management, mixed forests, national forests, planning, time series analysis, China
Accurate estimates of forest site productivity are essential for environmental planning and forest management. In this study, we developed a new productivity index, hereafter termed basal area potential productivity index (BAPP), to estimate site productivity for irregular and complex forests characterized by multi-aged, multi-species, and multi-layer stands. We presented the biological relevance of BAPP with its computational details. We also compared BAPP against basal area realized productivity (BARP) in order to verify the practicability and reliability of BAPP. Time-series data of the national forest inventory on 1912 permanent sample plots that were located in two main forest types and consisted of oak-dominated mixed forests and other broadleaf forests in northeast China were used to demonstrate the application of BAPP. The results showed that the value of BAPP for each sample plot was larger than or equal to the corresponding BARP value for each forest type. For appropriately managed stands with relatively better site conditions, the values of both BARP and BAPP were almost identical. The values of the difference between BAPP and BARP could therefore be used to effectively assess forest site productivity. Meanwhile, BAPP also provides much reliable and valuable information that can aid decision-making in forest management.