UBC Faculty Research and Publications

New height growth and site index models for Pacific silver fir in southwestern British Columbia Klinka, Karel; Splechtna, Bernhard E.; Chourmouzis, Christine; Varga, Pal


Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis (Dougl. ex Loud.) Forbes) is an important timber crop species in coastal forests of B.C. Its range extends from sea-level to almost timberline, and from the hypermaritime region on the west coast of Vancouver Island to the subcontinental region on the leeward side of the Coast Mountains. With this relatively wide climatic amplitude, a large variability in the height growth pattern of Pacific silver fir can be expected, since climate is considered to be the most influential determinant of the trajectory of height over age of forest trees. This variability, however, is not reflected in the height growth curves and site index tables used to estimate Pacific silver fir site index, since the curves and tables were developed from low-elevation stands on Vancouver Island. Consequently, when these curves and tables are applied to high-elevation or submaritime stands, we get biased estimates of site index. Accurate estimates of site index are necessary for accurate yield predictions. Furthermore, they are essential for making rational decisions about whether to cut the forest in situations where potential tree growth is marginal, such as in high-elevation forests.

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