Analysis of forest thinning strategies through the development of space-time growth-interaction simulation models

E. Renshaw, C. Comas, J. Mateu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Thinning strategies are a prime factor in generating spatial patterns in managed forests, and have a dramatic effect on stand development, and hence product yields. As trees generally have long life spans relative to the length of typical research projects, the design and analysis of complex long-term spatial-temporal experiments in forest stands is clearly difficult. This means that forest modelling is a key tool in the formulation and development of optimal management strategies. We show that the highly flexible Renshaw and Särkkä algorithm for modelling the space-time development of marked point processes is easily adapted to enable the comparative study of different thinning regimes. This procedure not only provides a powerful descriptor of forest stand growth, but there is considerable evidence that it is particularly robust to the accuracy of model choice. Two distinct thinning approaches are considered in conjunction with a variety of tree growth functions and both hard- and soft-core interaction functions. The results obtained strongly suggest that combining the immigration-growth-spatial interaction model with spatially explicit thinning algorithms produces a realistic and flexible mechanism for mimicking real forest scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-288
Number of pages13
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

Keywords

  • forest modelling
  • marked point processes
  • spatially explicit forest dynamics
  • thinning strategies
  • distance-dependent forest models

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