2019 journal article
Modeling whole-stand survival in clonal eucalypt stands in Brazil as a function of water availability
FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, 432, 1002–1012.
Abstract Several approaches for modeling whole-stand survival or mortality have been reported in the literature, although this component is often times neglected for clonal eucalypt stands in Brazil. In addition, the traditional form for projecting whole-stand survival appears incomplete for clonal eucalypt stands, since this tree species is highly sensitive to lack of water in the environment. Consequently, this study aimed to define the best approach to estimate whole-stand survival in clonal eucalypt stands and to develop a new approach for modeling whole-stand survival as a function of cumulative soil water deficit. Remeasurement of sixteen research sites composed the database used in this study. At each research site, the same eleven eucalypt clones were planted in single block plots, which results in a total of 176 plots distributed across Brazil. Two traditional approaches (two-step approach and direct estimation) were tested for modeling whole-stand survival. Additionally a new approach that replaces the age term by cumulative soil water deficit (cumulative SWD) was compared to the best selected traditional approach to estimate whole-stand survival in clonal eucalypt stands. The direct projection approach of whole-stand survival displayed better results when compared to the two-step approach. In addition, the replacement of age by cumulative SWD in the direct estimation approach allowed for an increase in the explanatory ability of the developed difference model. The newly developed difference model employing the direct estimation approach constrained by cumulative SWD ensures that the environmental stress effect is reflected on the survival of clonal eucalypt stands over time, and it is more biologically sound for extrapolation purposes.