Article

Regional mixed-effects height–diameter models for loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations

European Journal of Forest Research (Impact Factor: 1.68). 01/2007; 126(2):253-262. DOI: 10.1007/s10342-006-0141-7

ABSTRACT A height–diameter mixed-effects model was developed for loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations in the southeastern US. Data were obtained from a region-wide thinning study established by the Loblolly
Pine Growth and Yield Research Cooperative at Virginia Tech. The height–diameter model was based on an allometric function,
which was linearized to include both fixed- and random-effects parameters. A test of regional-specific fixed-effects parameters
indicated that separate equations were needed to estimate total tree heights in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain physiographic
regions. The effect of sample size on the ability to estimate random-effects parameters in a new plot was analyzed. For both
regions, an increase in the number of sample trees decreased the bias when the equation was applied to independent data. This
investigation showed that the use of a calibrated response using one sample tree per plot makes the inclusion of additional
predictor variables (e.g., stand density) unnecessary. A numerical example demonstrates the methodology used to predict random
effects parameters, and thus, to estimate plot specific height–diameter relationships.

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