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Site index (SI) estimation for loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations is important for the successful management of this important commercial tree species in the West Gulf Coastal Plain of the United States. This study evaluated various SI models for intensively managed loblolly plantations in the West Gulf Coastal Plain using data collected from permanent plots installed in intensively managed loblolly pine plantations across east Texas and western Louisiana. Six commonly used SI models (Cieszewski GADA model, both Chapman-Richards ADA and GADA models, both Schumacher ADA and GADA models, and McDill-Amateis GADA model) were fit to the data and compared. The Chapman-Richards GADA model and the McDill-Amateis GADA model were similar and best in their fit statistics. These two models were further compared to the existing models (Diéguez-Aranda et al. 2006 (DA2006), Coble and Lee 2010 (CL2010)) commonly used in the region. Both the Chapman-Richards GADA and the McDill-Amateis GADA models consistently predicted greater heights up to age 25 than the models of DA2006 and CL2010, with larger height differences for the higher quality sites, but predicted shorter heights thereafter. Ultimately, the McDill-Amateis GADA model was chosen as the best model for its consistency in predicting reasonable heights extrapolated beyond the range of the data. Foresters can use this model to make more informed silvicultural prescriptions for intensively managed loblolly pine plantations in the West Gulf Coastal Plain.


Trim, K. R., Coble, D. W., Weng, Y., Stovall, J. P., & Hung, I.-K. (2019). A New Site Index Model for Intensively Managed Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) Plantations in the West Gulf Coastal Plain. Forest Science, 66(1).




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