A biological classification and characterization of structure in managed, mixed-species, multi-aged stands

by Singleton, Ryan B.

Abstract (Summary)
Forest management requires classification of forest stands into groupings or types based

on structural similarities, even when structure varies continuously along gradients.

Managed, mixed-species, multi-aged forest stands often display complex structures

containing extreme variation in trees size, density, and species composition, and as a

result have diverse canopy structures. A classification of these stands is quite challenging

and has usually been done rather subjectively. The first objective of this study was to

identify and apply an effective methodology to classify stand structures in mixed-species,

multi-aged stands. Cluster analysis provided an approach for objective classification of

stands based on a set of structural variables available from typical inventory data. A

commercial forest ownership in northern California comprised the target population.

Stands investigated were primarily mixed-species, multi-cohort stands that had been

managed predominantly using single tree selection methods, resulting in a diverse range

of vegetation structures. Crown area profile (cross-sectional crown area per relative stand

height) (Dubrasich et. al 1997) served as basis for the classification since it embodies the

size, density, and crown structure attributes necessary to characterize complex stands.

The stand types identified were then fully characterized and differentiated from each

other with respect to various attributes allowing realization of the full benefit of the

classification developed. The second objective was to fully characterize the stand types

identified through cluster analysis. Three categories of attributes were regarded as most

important for making silvicultural decisions in the target mixed conifer forests: 1) size

distribution and density, 2) canopy structure, and 3) growth dynamics.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Maguire, Douglas A.

School:Oregon State University

School Location:USA - Oregon

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:forest management oregon dynamics washington state


Date of Publication:08/06/1999

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.