Research papers

A narrow size diameter class model for tree growth and yield simulation in a mahoe (Talipariti elatum (SW.) Fryxell, Malvaceae) plantation in Puerto Rico


Abstract


Forest management planning requires forest growth models that provide a reliable way to forecast growth, calculate yield, and examine the effects of silviculture. Here we used a size stem frequency approach based on differential equations to developed a growth simulator system to guide the management of mahoe (Talipariti elatum (SW.) Fryxell) in a small plantation in Puerto Rico. We estimated the optimal harvest age using the Faustmann model, and evaluated alternative harvesting schemes using sensitivity analyses. The growth simulator system predicted that tree volume at first rises quickly, reaches a maximum value, and then decreases because of a lack of natural regeneration in the plantation. Thus, harvesting must be followed by replanting and large and healthy trees must be maintained as seed sources. The optimal harvest age was 43 years for a discount rate of 2.5% and 19 years for 5% interest. Analysis for alternative management schemes based on selective harvesting of the largest tress showed that 5%, 15%, or 30% of the trees ≥54.5 cm dbh could be harvested in cycles of 1, 5 or 10 years respectively, without drastically decreasing the basal area. The sustainability of these management schemes will depend on the costs of management, as well as the responses of mahoe to selective harvesting.  


Keywords

forest management modelling; optimal harvest age; selective harvesting; system dynamics.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12899/asr-1850

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Copyright (c) 2019 Jimena Forero Montaña, Jess Zimmerman, Thrity Vakil, Mark Nelson, Maria Eglee Perez, Joaquin Medin

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