Modeling height growth for teak plantations in Colombia using the reducible stochastic differential equation approach.

Peer Reviewed
29 June 2020

Sergio Orrego, Cristian Montes, Héctor I. Restrepo, Bronson P. Bullock, Mauricio Zapata

Abstract

Teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) plantations are increasingly being established in tropical regions to meet a rising demand for its highly valued timber. Teak plantations have been established in the Atlantic Coastal Plain region of Colombia, a region climatically suitable for teak growth by having a monsoon climate with a unimodal precipitation pattern. Tree diameter at breast height (DBH, 1.3 m above ground) and mean top height, periodically measured over a 17-year period in 44 permanent sampling plots of size 0.06 and 0.10 ha, were used in this study. A stochastic differential equation (SDE), along with a Bertalanffy–Richards-type height growth model, was used to model and estimate top height growth of teak plantations in Colombia. Environmental noise and height measurement errors were explicitly considered as the main uncertainty sources of mean top height growth. The best model for estimating mean top height, based on statistical performance and biological rationale, had the asymptote defined as a local parameter and the growth rate and shape specified as global parameters. This model outperformed its counterpart that had the growth rate specified as a local parameter and asymptote and shape as global parameters. The selected model also outperformed alternative approaches such as the mixed-effects model, generalized algebraic difference approach, and the dummy variable method. Estimated trajectories for the mean top height of teak in Colombia are biologically sound based on the measured height series and previous studies in Latin America. Results suggest that most of the uncertainty associated with the mean top height growth of teak plantations in Colombia was largely explained by environmental noise. The best estimated model using the SDE approach can be useful for predicting height growth and evaluating site productivity of teak plantations in Colombia and in neighbouring countries with biophysical characteristics similar to those where teak has been planted in Colombia.

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Orrego, S., Montes, C., Restrepo, H. I., Bullock, B. P., & Zapata, M. (2020). Modeling height growth for teak plantations in Colombia using the reducible stochastic differential equation approach. Journal of Forestry Research, 32(3), 1035–1045. doi:10.1007/s11676-020-01174-y

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Publication | 27 April 2021