The temporal and spatial analysis of tree age distributions

R.P. Duncan, G.H. Stewart

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    79 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The temporal and spatial patterns of tree establishment and stand disturbance history are often based on the interpretation of age-class frequency distributions. In particular, the presence of even-aged groups of trees is often used as compelling evidence of past disturbance. However, even-aged groups of trees may be indistinguishable in an age distribution if several different-aged patches occur, especially if their ages overlap. For two different types of forest we used spatial autocorrelation analysis to statistically test for the presence of even-aged patches in tree age data. Ordination and cluster analysis were subsequently applied to a matrix of association measures that reflected both spatial proximity and age similarity to identify even-aged groups of trees. Although the method worked well for our forests, which contained light-demanding tree species, it is likely to be less applicable to forests dominated by shade-tolerant species, because trees may be of many different ages if they were present as suppressed individuals prior to disturbance. However, in these instances the method could be usefully applied in other types of analysis, such as the distribution of growth release dates, tree-fall or fire-scar dates, and growth rates.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)1703-1710
    Number of pages8
    JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
    Volume21
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1991

    Cite this

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    title = "The temporal and spatial analysis of tree age distributions",
    abstract = "The temporal and spatial patterns of tree establishment and stand disturbance history are often based on the interpretation of age-class frequency distributions. In particular, the presence of even-aged groups of trees is often used as compelling evidence of past disturbance. However, even-aged groups of trees may be indistinguishable in an age distribution if several different-aged patches occur, especially if their ages overlap. For two different types of forest we used spatial autocorrelation analysis to statistically test for the presence of even-aged patches in tree age data. Ordination and cluster analysis were subsequently applied to a matrix of association measures that reflected both spatial proximity and age similarity to identify even-aged groups of trees. Although the method worked well for our forests, which contained light-demanding tree species, it is likely to be less applicable to forests dominated by shade-tolerant species, because trees may be of many different ages if they were present as suppressed individuals prior to disturbance. However, in these instances the method could be usefully applied in other types of analysis, such as the distribution of growth release dates, tree-fall or fire-scar dates, and growth rates.",
    author = "R.P. Duncan and G.H. Stewart",
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    year = "1991",
    doi = "10.1139/x91-236",
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    volume = "21",
    pages = "1703--1710",
    journal = "Canadian Journal of Forest Research",
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    The temporal and spatial analysis of tree age distributions. / Duncan, R.P.; Stewart, G.H.

    In: Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 21, No. 12, 1991, p. 1703-1710.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The temporal and spatial analysis of tree age distributions

    AU - Duncan, R.P.

    AU - Stewart, G.H.

    N1 - cited By 75

    PY - 1991

    Y1 - 1991

    N2 - The temporal and spatial patterns of tree establishment and stand disturbance history are often based on the interpretation of age-class frequency distributions. In particular, the presence of even-aged groups of trees is often used as compelling evidence of past disturbance. However, even-aged groups of trees may be indistinguishable in an age distribution if several different-aged patches occur, especially if their ages overlap. For two different types of forest we used spatial autocorrelation analysis to statistically test for the presence of even-aged patches in tree age data. Ordination and cluster analysis were subsequently applied to a matrix of association measures that reflected both spatial proximity and age similarity to identify even-aged groups of trees. Although the method worked well for our forests, which contained light-demanding tree species, it is likely to be less applicable to forests dominated by shade-tolerant species, because trees may be of many different ages if they were present as suppressed individuals prior to disturbance. However, in these instances the method could be usefully applied in other types of analysis, such as the distribution of growth release dates, tree-fall or fire-scar dates, and growth rates.

    AB - The temporal and spatial patterns of tree establishment and stand disturbance history are often based on the interpretation of age-class frequency distributions. In particular, the presence of even-aged groups of trees is often used as compelling evidence of past disturbance. However, even-aged groups of trees may be indistinguishable in an age distribution if several different-aged patches occur, especially if their ages overlap. For two different types of forest we used spatial autocorrelation analysis to statistically test for the presence of even-aged patches in tree age data. Ordination and cluster analysis were subsequently applied to a matrix of association measures that reflected both spatial proximity and age similarity to identify even-aged groups of trees. Although the method worked well for our forests, which contained light-demanding tree species, it is likely to be less applicable to forests dominated by shade-tolerant species, because trees may be of many different ages if they were present as suppressed individuals prior to disturbance. However, in these instances the method could be usefully applied in other types of analysis, such as the distribution of growth release dates, tree-fall or fire-scar dates, and growth rates.

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    SN - 0045-5067

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