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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'calibration estimation'

Category: Research article

article id 334, category Research article
Jouni Siipilehto. (2006). Linear prediction application for modelling the relationships between a large number of stand characteristics of Norway spruce stands. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 3 article id 334.
Keywords: Picea abies; stand characteristics; prediction; calibration estimation; interdependence
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The aim was to produce models for a large number of stand characteristics of Norway spruce dominated stands. A total of 227 national forest inventory based permanent stand plots, dominated by Norway spruce (Picea abies), were used in modelling eight stand variables as a function of the stand mean biological age and site characteristics. The basic models were able to characterize the average development of the modelled stand variables, but resulted in a relatively high RMSE. Basal area (G) and stem number (N) were the most inaccurate, having a RMSE of 34–41%, while that of mean diameter and height characteristics varied between 16–20%. The expectations and error variances of the basic models were calibrated with known stand variables using linear prediction theory. The best linear unbiased predictor (BLUP) with a single stand variable used for calibration proved to be ineffective for unknown G and N, but relatively effective for the unknown mean characteristics. However, calibration with one sum and one mean characteristic proved to be effective, and additional calibration variables enhanced the precision only marginally. The BLUP method provided a flexible approach when characterizing the relationships between a large number of stand variables, thus enabling multiple use of these models because they were not fixed to a specific inventory system.
  • Siipilehto, Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail: (email)
article id 332, category Research article
Marc Palahí, Timo Pukkala, Antoni Trasobares. (2006). Calibrating predicted tree diameter distributions in Catalonia, Spain. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 3 article id 332.
Keywords: calibration estimation; Weibull function; parameter prediction
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Several probability density functions have been used in describing the diameter distributions of forest stands. In a case where both the stand basal area and number of stems per hectare are assessed, the fitted or predicted distribution is scaled using only one of these variables, with the result that the distribution often gives incorrect values for the other variable. Using a distribution that provides incorrect values for known characteristics means wasting information. Calibrating the distribution so that it is compatible with the additional information on stand characteristics is a way to avoid such wasting. This study examined the effect of calibration on the accuracy of the predicted diameter distributions of the main tree species of Catalonia. The distributions were calibrated with and without considering the prediction errors of the frequencies of diameter classes. When prediction errors were assumed, the calibration was done with and without making allowance for estimation errors in the stand level calibration variables. Calibrated distributions were more accurate than non-calibrated in terms of sums of different powers of diameters. The set of calibration variables that gave the most accurate results included six stand variables: number of trees per hectare, stand basal area, basal-area-weighted mean diameter, non-weighted mean diameter, median diameter, and basal area median diameter. Of the tested three-variable combinations the best was: number of trees per hectare, stand basal area, and basal-area-weighted mean diameter. Means were more useful calibration variables than medians.
  • Palahí, Centre Tecnológic Forestal de Catalunya. Passeig Lluis Companys, 23, 08010, Barcelona, Spain E-mail: (email)
  • Pukkala, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, 80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail:
  • Trasobares, Foreco Technologies, Av. Diagonal 416, Estudio 2, Barcelona 08037, Spain E-mail:
article id 522, category Research article
Annika Kangas, Matti Maltamo. (2002). Anticipating the variance of predicted stand volume and timber assortments with respect to stand characteristics and field measurements. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 4 article id 522.
Keywords: diameter distribution; timber assortment; prediction; calibration estimation; volume; accuracy; measurement combination
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Several models and/or several variable combinations could be used to predict the diameter distribution of a stand. Typically, a fixed model and a fixed variable combination is used in all conditions. The calibration procedure, however, makes it possible to choose the measurement combination from among many possibilities, although the model used is fixed. In this study, the usefulness of utilizing additional stand characteristics for calibrating the predicted diameter distribution is examined. Nine measurement strategies were tested in predicting the total stand volume, sawlog volume and pulpwood volume. The observed errors of these variables under each strategy were modeled as a function of basal area, basal area median diameter and number of stems. The models were estimated in three steps. First, an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model was fitted to the observed errors. Then, a variance function was estimated using the OLS residuals. Finally, a weighted Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) analysis was used to model the observed errors, using the estimated variance functions as weights. The estimated models can be used to anticipate the precision and accuracy of predicted volume characteristics for each stand with different variable combinations and, consequently, to choose the best measurement combination in different stands.
  • Kangas, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Resources Management, P.O. Box 27, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Maltamo, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, 80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail:
article id 620, category Research article
Annika Kangas, Matti Maltamo. (2000). Performance of percentile based diameter distribution prediction and Weibull method in independent data sets. Silva Fennica vol. 34 no. 4 article id 620.
Keywords: stand structure; calibration estimation; Weibull function; diameter distribution prediction; distribution-free method; nearest neighbour method
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
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.
  • Kangas, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus Research Station, P.O. Box 44, FIN-69101 Kannus, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Maltamo, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu Research Station, P.O. Box 68, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail:

Category: Research note

article id 310, category Research note
Timo Tahvanainen, Kalle Kaartinen, Timo Pukkala, Matti Maltamo. (2007). Comparison of approaches to integrate energy wood estimation into the Finnish compartment inventory system. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 1 article id 310.
Keywords: diameter distribution; thinnings; calibration estimation; compartment inventory
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The harvesting of energy wood from young stands is increasing as the demand for renewable wood fuel is growing. Energy wood consists of stems, tree tops, branches and needles, depending on the size of the trees and the logging method used. The current forest inventory and planning systems used in private forests in Finland do not produce estimates of energy wood components. In stands typical for energy wood harvesting, a large share of energy wood consists of trees smaller than the minimum size for pulpwood. In this study, energy wood was included into the calculation system of compartment inventory, and a procedure for simulating the thinning treatments in young stands was developed. The results for six inventory alternatives and prediction of energy wood were compared with the use of inventory material from 37 young stands that have plenty of energy wood. The measurement of additional stand characteristics and the use of a calibration estimation method was tested, as well as the use of plot-level inventory data instead of stand level data. The results showed that the measurement of the number of trees per hectare, in addition to stand basal area and mean diameter, improved the energy wood estimates. The additional minimum and maximum diameters improved the precision of the estimates, but did not affect bias. The removal estimates were more precise when plot-level data was used, rather than stand-level data. The removal estimates were higher with plot-level data. The results suggest that, in heterogeneous young stands, plot by plot prediction would give more accurate removal estimates than the calculation of a corresponding prediction at the stand-level.
  • Tahvanainen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Kaartinen, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuun yliopisto, Finland E-mail:
  • Pukkala, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuun yliopisto, Finland E-mail:
  • Maltamo, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuun yliopisto, Finland E-mail:

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