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Developing an index for forest productivity mapping – A case study for maritime pine production regulation in Portugal

Mestre, S., Alegria, C., Albuquerque, M.T.D., & Goovaerts, P. (2017). Developing an index for forest productivity mapping – A case study for maritime pine production regulation in Portugal. Revista Árvore41(3), e410306. Epub February 22, 2018. DOI: 10.1590/1806-90882017000300006

 

ABSTRACT

Productivity is very dependent on the environmental and biotic factors present at the site where the forest species of interest is present. Forest site productivity is usually assessed using empirical models applied to inventory data providing discrete predictions. While the use of GIS-based models enables building a site productivity distribution map. Therefore, the aim of this study was to derive a productivity index using multivariate statistics and coupled GIS-geostatistics to obtain a forest productivity map. To that end, a study area vastly covered by naturally regenerated forests of maritime pine in central Portugal was used. First, a productivity index (PI) was built based on Factorial Correspondence Analysis (FCA) by incorporating a classical site index for the species and region (Sh25 – height index model) and GIS-derived environmental variables (slope and aspect). After, the PI map was obtained by multi-Gaussian kriging and used as a GIS layer to evaluate maritime pine areas by productivity class (e.g., low, intermediate and high). In the end, the area control method was applied to assess the size and the number of compartments to establish by productivity class. The management compartments of equal productivity were digitized as GIS layer and organized in a temporal progression of stands’ age regularly available for cutting each year during a 50-year schedule. The methodological approach developed in this study proved that can be used to build forest productivity maps which are crucial tools to support forest production regulation.

Keywords: Site Productivity Classes; Area Control Method; Forest Management Compartments

 

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