Taper and individual tree volume equations of Eucalyptus varieties under contrasting irrigation regimes

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Juan Carlos Valverde
Rafael Rubilar
Alex Medina
Oscar Mardones
Verónica Emhart
Daniel Bozo
Yosselin Espinoza
Octavio Campoe


non-linear equations, model, water availability, allometrics, tree improvement


Background: Compatible taper and volume equations are key for traditional growth and yield and current process-based or hybrid models. However, most equations do not consider variables such as genotype, water regime and their interaction, limiting the development of general equations for species or regions. Our research investigated taper and individual tree volume equations for eight Eucalyptus genotypes (E. nitens, E. badjensis, E. smithii, E. camaldulensis x globulus and two varieties of low and high productivity of E. globulus and E. nitens x globulus), all materials are growing under summer irrigated vs. no irrigated conditions.

Methods: A 7-year old Eucalyptus plantation experiment was sampled considering four representative trees per genotype x water regime combination treatment. Four non-linear taper equations were evaluated: Kozak (2004), Kozak et al. (1969), Ormerod (1973) and Max and Burkhart (1976). In addition, total and merchantable volume was evaluated with the Schumacher and Hall (1933) equation. The effect of genotype, irrigation regime and interaction were evaluated for each equation. Then, the best taper equation was selected from adjusted coefficient of determination, mean square error, and AIC and BIC parameters. Finally, the validation of evaluations was carried out with the Leave-One-Out Jackknife method.

Results: Genotype, irrigation regime, or the interaction were not statistically significant for all evaluated taper - volume equations and a generalised model equation was obtained. The best taper equation was Kozak (2004) which showed the best fit and adaptation to irregular boles. Regarding volume equations, all showed a trend to underestimate volume (total and merchantable) in trees with a volume greater than 0.22 m3. Validation of the equations showed reduced bias suggesting that the equations can be used to predict taper and volume regardless of Eucalyptus genotype x irrigation regimen combinations.

Conclusions: Our results suggest a negligible or minor effect of irrigation (water resource availability) and genotype (for tested taxas and genotypes) on taper and individual tree volume equations. A generalised taper and volume equation (total and merchantable) may be used for all tested genotypes, regardless of water regime (site water availability). This generalised model would simplify Eucalyptus estimates required for stand management and projection.

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