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Annika Kangas (email), Matti Maltamo

Performance of percentile based diameter distribution prediction and Weibull method in independent data sets

Kangas A., Maltamo M. (2000). Performance of percentile based diameter distribution prediction and Weibull method in independent data sets. Silva Fennica vol. 34 no. 4 article id 620. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.620


Diameter distribution is used in most forest management planning packages for predicting stand volume, timber volume and stand growth. The prediction of diameter distribution can be based on parametric distribution functions, distribution-free parametric prediction methods or purely non-parametric methods. In the first case, the distribution is obtained by predicting the parameters of some probability density function. In a distribution-free percentile method, the diameters at certain percentiles of the distribution are predicted with models. In non-parametric methods, the predicted distribution is a linear combination of similar measured stands. In this study, the percentile based diameter distribution is compared to the results obtained with the Weibull method in four independent data sets. In the case of Scots pine, the other methods are also compared to k-nearest neighbour method. The comparison was made with respect to the accuracy of predicted stand volume, saw timber volume and number of stems. The predicted percentile and Weibull distributions were calibrated using number of stems measured from the stand. The information of minimum and maximum diameters were also used, for re-scaling the percentile based distribution or for parameter recovery of Weibull parameters. The accuracy of the predicted stand characteristics were also compared for calibrated distributions. The most reliable results were obtained using the percentile method with the model set including number of stems as a predictor. Calibration improved the results in most cases. However, using the minimum and maximum diameters for parameter recovery proved to be inefficient.

stand structure; calibration estimation; Weibull function; diameter distribution prediction; distribution-free method; nearest neighbour method

Author Info
  • Kangas, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus Research Station, P.O. Box 44, FIN-69101 Kannus, Finland E-mail annika.kangas@metla.fi (email)
  • Maltamo, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu Research Station, P.O. Box 68, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail mm@nn.fi

Received 12 June 2000 Accepted 3 October 2000 Published 31 December 2000

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Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.620 | Download PDF

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