Estimation of stand crown cover using a generalized crown diameter model: application for the analysis of Portuguese cork oak stands stocking evolution

  • Last update: 09 March 2017
  • Author: Joana A Paulo, Sónia P Faias, Célia Ventura-Giroux, Margarida Tomé

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A generalized non-linear tree crown diameter model was developed with the aim of allowing the computation of tree crown diameter over a large range of tree dimensions, and allowing its inclusion in forest growth and yield models. The model was formulated to provide biological meaning to the predicted va - lues. Due to the nested structure of the data analyzed (trees within stands), both mixed- and fixed-effect models were developed. Since tree crown diame - ter is not frequently measured in forest inventories, the validation of the mi - xed model was carried out by considering the population specific response. The results demonstrate that when the measurements required for the mixed model calibration are not available, the use of the fixed effect model results in less biased and more accurate estimates. The fixed model was applied to the data from the two last Portuguese National Forest Inventories (NFI) to analyze the change in stand crown cover and assess the stocking evolution of cork oak stands in Portugal between 1996 and 2006. Results showed an increase in the frequency of stands with crown cover lower than 20%, as well as a decrease in the frequency of stands with crown cover between 20 and 40%. Average crown cover values were significantly different in the two NFI, with a decrease from 28.0 to 26.5% over the considered perio

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonst ration under grant agreement No. 311919

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