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Volume and taper estimation systems pinus patula and cupressus lusitanica growing in Kenya forest plantations Gor-Kesiah, John Odhiambo

Abstract

Volume and taper studies in Pinus patula and Cupressus lusitanica trees growing in Kenya forest plantations are discussed. The ultimate objective of the study was to find suitable models for estimating volumes and taper rates using two approaches for each parameter (i.e. volume and taper). These included producing volume models in the traditional way and by integrating taper models. Taper models derived from the best of the volume models were compared to the taper models produced from taper data in the traditional way to find out the efficiency of each approach. Data from the two species were used to fit a few popular volume and taper models. Trials were also made to develop new models. Of the popular volume models tested the logarithmic volume model was found to be giving very good estimates. Weighted models conditioned through the origin, by a technique proposed in the study, were also giving similar good estimates. Models weighted by current approach were, however, giving relatively poor estimates. Volume-based taper models were found to be giving biased diameter estimates along the tree profiles. However, when integrated for total volume, the volume estimates given seemed to be better than those given by the other taper models tested. Because of their bias in estimating the diameters and other points along the tree profile, volume-based taper models are not recommended for estimating volumes to any other points along the tree profiles. Other popular taper models were also giving biased diameter estimates. They lacked inflection points. When integrated for volumes, they were giving very poor estimates. Two fairly simple taper models have been proposed which have most of the characteristics needed in a taper model to give proper profile description. They have been recommended for constructing the inside volume tables and taper tables for the two species. They should also apply well in other conifers. One model describes profiles of trees with butt swell while the other describes trees with smooth stem forms.

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