Effect of species proportion definition on the evaluation of growth in pure vs. mixed stands

Hubert Sterba, Miren del Rio, Andreas Brunner, Sonia Condes


Aim of study: The aim of this paper is to compare differences in growth per hectare of species in pure and mixed stands as they result from different definitions of species proportions.

Area of Study: We used the data of the Spanish National Forest Inventory for Scots pine and beech mixtures in the province of Navarra and for Scots pine and Pyrenean oak mixtures in the Central mountain range and the North Iberic mountain range.

Material and Methods: Growth models were parameterized with the species growth related to its proportion as dependent variable, and dominant height, quadratic mean diameter density, and species proportion as independent variables. As proportions we use once proportions by basal area or by stand density index and once these proportions considering the species specific maximum densities.

Main Results: In the pine – beech mixtures, where the maximum densities do not differ very much between species, the mixing effects are very similar, independent of species proportion definitions. In the pine – oak mixture, where the maximum densities in terms of basal area are very different, the equations using the proportions calculated without reference to the maximum densities, result in a distinct overestimation of the mixing effects on growth.

Research highlights: When comparing growth per hectare of a species in a mixed stand with that of a pure stand, the species proportion must be described as a proportion by area considering the maximum density for the given species, wrong mixing effects could be introduced by inappropriate species proportion definitions.

Keywords: Mixing effects; proportion by area; Stand Density Index; overyielding; Pinus sylvestris L.; Fagus sylvatica L.; Quercus pyrenaica Willd.


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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2014233-06051

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