Title: Spatial autocorrelation in growth of undisturbed natural pine stands across Georgia
Author: Czaplewski, Raymond L.; Reich, Robin M.; Bechtold, William A.
Source: For. Sci., Vol. 40(2): 314-328
Description: Moran's I statistic measures the spatial autocorrelation in a random variable measured at discrete locations in space. Permutation procedures test the null hypothesis that the observed Moran's I value is no greater than that expected by chance. The spatial autocorrelation of gross basal area increment is analyzed for undisturbed, naturally regenerated stands in three Georgia forest types: loblolly, shortleaf, and slash pine. The analysis uses 0.4-ha permanent sample plots from a forest inventory that included two re measurement intervals (1961-1972 and 1972-1982). We present a new statistic for exploratory spatial analyses, and this statistic revealed an anomalous cluster of unusually slow-growing shortleaf pine plots occurred in the mountains 100 km north of Atlanta. A regression model was used to predict gross basal area increment as a function of variables that describe local stand conditions, and no significant spatial autocorrelations existed in the regression residuals. This result suggests that the anomalous cluster of slow-growing plots can be explained by the spatial distribution of local stand conditions rather than spatial patterns of other possible causes such as air pollution, although alternative interpretations are possible.
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Czaplewski, Raymond L.; Reich, Robin M.; Bechtold, William A. 1994. Spatial autocorrelation in growth of undisturbed natural pine stands across Georgia. For. Sci., Vol. 40(2): 314-328.