The effect of irregular stand structures on growth, wood quality and its mitigation in operational harvest planning of Pinus patula stands

Ackerman, Simon Alexander (2013-12)

Thesis (MScFor)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The practice of combining row and selective thinning in commercial pine plantation silviculture carries the risk of unwanted irregularities in tree distribution within the stand. This situation is aggravated with poor tree selection during marking. The potential consequences of poor tree selection are gaps created along row removals, which are necessary for access to harvesting operations. These gaps lead to spatially asymmetric growing space among adjacent trees. The effect of irregular stand structures on tree morphology and growth are investigated in this study, and are based on two stands of Pinus patula, (Schiede ex Schlechtendal et Cham.) in Langeni plantation, South Africa. This study focuses on two aspects. Firstly, a comparison between trees grown in all-sided and one-sided spatial competition situations in order to assess if there are differences in growth and selected quality parameters. Secondly, the mitigation of irregular structures using a simulation based study on changing the planting geometry in order to investigate the effect on harvesting in terms of stand impact, simulated harvesting productivity and harvesting system costs. Results showed that trees grown in an irregular competitive status have significantly larger crown diameters, crown lengths, longer and thicker branches, disproportionately one sided crown growth and a reduction in space-use efficiency. Simulations indicated that changing planting geometry from the current 2.7m x 2.7m to 2.3m x 3.1m and 2.4m x 3m would result in up to a 20% reduction of machine trail length and fewer rows being removed for machine access. The simulation of harvesting thinnings showed that various planting geometry alternatives increased harvesting productivity by 10% to 20% and reduced overall thinning harvesting cost by up to 11%. This study successfully investigated the factors that potentially negatively affect saw timber quality and volume production of the stand at final felling. It also illustrated the applicability of simulation methods for testing harvesting scenarios and developing economically viable alternatives.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die praktiese kombinasie van ryuitdunning en seleksiedunning in kommersiële denneplantasies dra die risiko van ongewensde onreelmatighede in die verspreiding van bome in die opstand. Hierdie situasie word vererger deur swak boomseleksie tydens die merk van dunnings. Die potensiële gevolge van swak boomseleksie is die ontstaan van onreelmatige gapings tussen boomkrone, veral langs die rydunnings, wat nodig is vir toegang tydens die ontginning van die hout. Dit lei daartoe dat die bome langs die dunningsrye asimmetriese ruimtes het om in te groei. Die effek van onreelmatige opstandstrukture op boom-morfologie en -groei word in hierdie studie ondersoek in twee Pinus patula, (Schiede ex Schlechtendal et Cham.) vakke te Langeni plantasie, Suid-afrika. In die studie word daar gefokus op twee aspekte. Eerstens word bome wat onder toestande van eweredige ruimetlike kompetisie groei vergelyk met die wat onder toestande van eensydige ruimtelike kompetisie groei om sodoende vas te stel of daar verskille is in die groeipatroon aan die hand van geselekteerde gehalteparameters. Tweedens word daar gefokus op die verbetering van onreelmatige opstandstrukture deur gebruik te maak van ’n simulasie-gebasseerde studie om veranderinge in die aanplantingsgeometrie te ondersoek met die doel om die effek van plantspasieering op ontginningsimpakte, gesimuleerde ontginningsproduktiwiteit en -sisteem koste te bepaal. Die resultate het getoon dat bome wat onder toestande van onreelmatige spasieering en kompetisie groei krone met groter deursnee asook langer lengtes ontwikkel, langer en dikker takke het, disproporsionele, eensydige kroongroei en ’n reduksie in ruimte-gebruik toon, wat die groeidoeltreffendheid nadelig beinvloed. Simulasies met betrekking tot die verandering in boomaanplantgeometrie vanaf die huidige 2.7m x 2.7m na 2.3m x 3.1m en 2.4m x 3m het gedui op ’n reduksie van 20% in die masjienpadafstand en na minder rye wat uitgehaal moes word om die toegang van masjiene moontlik te maak. Die simulasie van die ontginning van dunnings het getoon dat verskillende aanplantgeometriealternatiewe die ontginningsproduktiwiteit met 10% tot 20% verbeter het, en die algehele dunningsoeskoste met tot 11% verminder het. In hierdie studie is die faktore, wat die gehalte van saaghoutkwaliteit en volume tydens die finale oes van die plantasie potensieel negatief mag beinvloed, suksesvol ondersoek. Dit illustreer ook die geskiktheid van simulasietoepassings vir die toets van ontginningsalternatiewe en die ontwikkelling van meer ekonomies voordelige praktyke .

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85874
This item appears in the following collections: