Forest Stands as Dynamical Systems: An Introduction

  •  Oscar Garcia    


Forest management planning relies heavily on mathematical models that involve time. Concerns about climate change and ecosystem services have highlighted the limitations of traditional growth and yield prediction tools. Modern dynamical system theory provides a framework for a flexible representation of varying environments, as well as of responses to intensive silviculture and natural disturbances. Emphasis changes from trying to directly model functions of time to modelling rates of change. The fundamental concepts are introduced here in a non-technical manner. The theory is illustrated with a recent whole-stand growth model for even-aged stands, but it is noted that it applies to any system that evolves over time. It is shown also how a modular approach can improve balance and efficiency in the development of such models.

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