Current issue: 54(2)
A process-oriented tree and stand growth model is extended to be applicable to the analysis of timber quality, and how it is influenced by silvicultural treatments. The tree-level model is based on the carbon balance and it incorporates the dynamics of five biomass variables as well as tree height, crown base, and breast height diameter. Allocation of carbon is based on the conservation of structural relationships, in particular, the pipe model. The pipe-model relationships are extended to the whorl level, but in order to avoid a 3-dimensional model of entire crown structure, the branch module is largely stochastic and aggregated. In model construction, a top-down hierarchy is used where at each step down, the upper level sets constraints for the lower level. Some advantages of this approach are model consistency and efficiency of calculations, but probably at the cost of reduced flexibility. The detailed structure related with the branching module is preliminary and will be improved when more data becomes available. Model parameters are identified for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Southern Finland, and example simulations are carried out to compare the development of quality characteristics in different stocking densities.
Ring width at breast height is presented as a function of stem radius at breast height, the ratio between the diameter of a tree and the basal area median diameter, site index, and density of stand. By means of a conversion model ring width at stump height can be estimated as a function of ring width at breast height.
According to previous studies substantially better wood quality can be expected if mean width near the pith at stump height decreases from 3 to 2 mm. According to the present study only on the poorest sites suitable for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) planting (poor Vaccinium type) the ring width is less than 3 mm at stump height even in the thickest trees. On more fertile sites a substantial increase in the recommended planting density is required, if the mean ring width is aimed to be less than 3 mm. On the best sites it is impossible to reach mean ring width of less than 2 mm, when the density is less than 4,000 stems/ha. Only the thinnest trees on the poorest sites can have a mean ring width less than 2mm.
The PDF includes an abstract in English.