Ecologically based height growth model and derived raster maps of Norway spruce site index in the Western Carpathians
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
European journal of forest research. - Berlin
, p. 691-705
University of Antwerp
The purpose of this study was to find the ecological factors that most affect height growth of Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) over the Western Carpathians. The specific aim was to find climate and soil parameters which are influenced by climate change and can thus be used to make a forest growth model more sensitive to climate. From the results, a regression model was built which can predict top height growth of Norway spruce from ecological parameters. Data collected on 201 plots established within National Forest Inventory of Slovakia were used. The plots selected for the study were distributed almost over the whole Western Carpathians. Mean height of the 20 % largest spruce trees was used as dependent variable. From all investigated ecological factors, the growing season length explained as the number of days with temperature over 5 A degrees C, the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and soil acidity were shown to have the major impact on top height growth of Norway spruce. Finally, 76 % of total variability in top height was explained by the mentioned site variables. To obtain a user-friendly output, a probability matrix was developed showing the likelihood of a discrete site index to occur on different combinations of site factors. Moreover, raster maps showing the site index of spruce and its probability distribution were developed.