Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (923 KB bytes)

Title: Basal area increment and growth efficiency as functions of canopy dynamics and stem mechanics

Author: Dean, Thomas J.;

Date: 2004

Source: Forest Science 50(1): 106-116

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Crown and canopy structurecorrelate with growth efficiency and also determine stem size and taper as described by the uniform stress principle of stem formation. A regression model was derived from this principle that expresses basal area increment in terms of the amount and vertical distribution of leaf area and change in these variables during a growth period. This model was fit to data collected from five studies analyzing various effects of cultural practices, atmospheric deposition, and stand density on the growth of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), slash pine (P. eiliottit), or lodgepole pine (P. contorta). For both southern pines, the model was fit to individual-tree data and plot totals measured on 1- to 4-yr-old trees and from 12- to 20-yr-old trees. The model was also fit to data measured on approximately 90-yr-old lodgepole pine trees in northern Utah. The model explained an average of 85% of the variation in individual-tree basal area increment and an average of 86% of variation in gross basal area increment per hectare. By comparison, leaf area alone explained an average of 54% of the variation in the increment of individual-tree stem volume and an average of 50% of the gross increment in stem volume per hectare.Thevalue of the exponent in the model implicates stem mechanics in stem growth, and fitted exponents were all within 7% of the exponent derived from the uniform stress model. Isolines of basal area increment and basal area growth efficiency based on fitted equations indicate that increments in the product of leaf area and height to center of leaf area must increase yearly for either basal area increment or growth efficiency to be constant with age.

Keywords: Leaf area, growth, wood properties, stem mechanics, uniform stress principle

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Dean, Thomas J. 2004. Basal area increment and growth efficiency as functions of canopy dynamics and stem mechanics. Forest Science 50(1): 106-116


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.