Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
The present research focuses on the productivity of energy wood chipping operations at several sites in Italy. The aim was to assess the productivity and specifically the effect attributed to the operator in the chipping of wood biomass. The research included 172 trials involving 67 operators across the country that were analysed using a mixed model approach, in order to assess productivity, and to isolate the operator effect from other potential variables. The model was constructed using different predictors aiming to explain the variability due to the machines and the raw-materials. The final model included the average piece weight of raw material chipped as well as the power of the machine. The coefficients of determination (R2) were 0.76 for the fixed part of the model, and 0.88 when the effects due to the operators were included. The operators’ performance compared to their peers was established, and it was compared to a subjective classification based on the operator’s previous experience. The results of this study can help to the planning and logistics of raw material supply for bioenergy, as well as to a more effective training of future forest operators.
Models for individual-tree basal area growth were constructed for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), pubescent birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) growing in drained peatland stands. The data consisted of two separate sets of permanent sample plots forming a large sample of drained peatland stands in Finland. The dependent variable in all models was the 5-year basal area growth of a tree. The independent tree-level variables were tree dbh, tree basal area, and the sum of the basal area of trees larger than the target tree. Independent stand-level variables were stand basal area, the diameter of the tree of median basal area, and temperature sum. Categorical variables describing the site quality, as well as the condition and age of drainage, were used. Differences in tree growth were used as criteria in reclassifying the a priori site types into new yield classes by tree species. All models were constructed as mixed linear models with a random stand effect. The models were tested against the modelling data and against independent data sets.
Semiparametric models, ordinary regression models and mixed models were compared for modelling stem volume in National Forest Inventory data. MSE was lowest for the mixed model. Examination of spatial distribution of residuals showed that spatial correlation of residuals is lower for semiparametric and mixed models than for parametric models with fixed regressors. Mixed models and semiparametric models can both be used for describing the effect of geographic location on stem form.
Much of forestry data is characterized by a longitudinal or repeated measures structure where multiple observations taken on some units of interest are correlated. Such dependencies are often ignored in favour of an apparently simpler analysis at the cost of invalid inferences. The last decade has brought to light many new statistical techniques that enable one to successfully deal with dependent observations. Although apparently distinct at first, the theory of Estimating Functions provides a natural extension of classical estimation that encompasses many of these new approaches. This contribution introduces Estimating Function Theory as a principle with potential for unification and presents examples covering a variety of modelling issues to demonstrate its applicability.