Silvicultural Principles

Silviculture applies theories and models from population ecology and biometrics to predict forest development. Two predominate. Size-density theory implies that in plant populations - such as a stand of trees - growth reaches a point where for some trees to get bigger, others must die to make resources available. Figure 7 represents a conceptual self thinning trajectory of an even aged stand undergoing density dependent mortality over time. Whereas size-density theory relates to the trees per unit area of an average size, growth-growing stock relations describe the expected rate of growth for any number of trees per unit area and stage of stand develop ment. Understanding how individual tree species respond to density is essential for ecological forest management.

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