Seth Ex, Colorado State University, firstname.lastname@example.org (Presenter)
Frederick Smith, Colorado State University, Frederick.W.SMITH@colostate.edu
Uneven-aged silviculture is increasingly favored where diverse management objectives require complex stand structures. Traditional uneven-aged silvicultural methods have been criticized as inflexible and lacking ecological basis. Stocking indices such as Reinekeâ€™s stand density index (SDI) are flexible and easy to apply, but are not necessarily ecologically meaningful. We used data from Black Hills ponderosa pine stands to test whether SDI is a suitable proxy for leaf area index (LAI) in uneven-aged stands. LAI has clear ecological meaning, and is interpretable in terms of resource use efficiency and site quality. We found SDI explained almost 90% of the variation in LAI in 21 uneven-aged stands, and was unbiased by tree size. Our results show SDI is a useful tool for regulation of complex stand structures.