Original Articles

Tree taper models for Cupressus lusitanica plantations in Ethiopia


Abstract

To provide a taper model for planning and management of Cupressus lusitanica plantations in Ethiopia, seven taper models were compared. Four performance indicator statistics were used for comparing the models in their ability to estimate tree diameter, and total and merchantable volumes. For the selected species, Kozak (1988) was found to be the best, followed by modified Lee et al. (2003) and Kozak (2004) as second and third best taper models, respectively. Both the Kozak (Kozak, 1988, 2004) and the modified Lee et al. (2003) models were very flexible in capturing the different shapes of trees. In particular, Kozak (2004) proved to be best of all models in diameter estimation even though it was found to be inferior to the Kozak (1988) and modified Lee et al. (2003) models for total and merchantable volume estimation. To understand the influence of the inflection point p in the Kozak (1988) model, Monte Carlo simulation was used to examine sensitivity of the model performance against inflection point p. In this effort, slightly lower standard errors were observed for p between 0.1 and 0.3. Mixed effects modeling was also used to further study the inflection point p as a random effect. The empirical Bayes estimates of the random effects were found to vary from tree to tree and also appear to depend on tree size. The results from both the Monte Carlo and mixed effects modeling study seem to indicate the need to estimate p from the data.

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