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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 934974, 13 pages
Research Article

Large-Scale Forest Modeling: Deducing Stand Density from Inventory Data

1IIASA International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
2Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury, 8140 Christchurch, New Zealand
3Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU) Vienna, Peter Jordan Straße 82, 1190 Wien, Austria

Received 30 March 2011; Revised 6 October 2011; Accepted 6 October 2011

Academic Editor: Hubert Sterba

Copyright © 2012 Oskar Franklin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


While effects of thinning and natural disturbances on stand density play a central role for forest growth, their representation in large-scale studies is restricted by both model and data availability. Here a forest growth model was combined with a newly developed generic thinning model to estimate stand density and site productivity based on widely available inventory data (tree species, age class, volume, and increment). The combined model successfully coupled biomass, increment, and stand closure (=stand density/self-thinning limited stand density), as indicated by cross-validation against European-wide inventory data. The improvement in model performance attained by including variable stand closure among age cohorts compared to a fixed closure suggests that stand closure is an important parameter for accurate forest growth modeling also at large scales.