Forest stand structure can be described through stand structural parameters as well as using stand structural indices. However, to date, there is still much uncertainty regarding how stand structural indices and parameters are intercorrelated. The analysis of correlation can guide their selection in research applications and forest management, avoiding redundancies and loss of time during data collection. In this study, using a sample of forest stands belonging to three forest types of the southeastern Italian Alps, we explored the correlation among stand structural indices, and then we checked the relationships between stand structural indices and stand structural parameters. The results indicate that the stand structural indices vary among the sampled forest types. Moreover, the correlation among stand structural indices indicates that some of them are strongly intercorrelated and, thus, they can give redundant information. Strong correlations have been found between the Shannon index and the Mingling index, between the Gini index and the Diameter differentiation index, and between size dominance indices. Correlations between stand structural indices and stand structural parameters were weak, and, therefore, we cannot recommend the exclusive use of stand structural indices as alternative to the common stand structural parameters. Instead, the combined use of stand structural indices and parameters can be a robust solution for describing forest stand structure.

Exploring correlation between stand structural indices and parameters across three forest types of the southeastern Italian Alps

Alterio E.;Sitzia T.
2021

Abstract

Forest stand structure can be described through stand structural parameters as well as using stand structural indices. However, to date, there is still much uncertainty regarding how stand structural indices and parameters are intercorrelated. The analysis of correlation can guide their selection in research applications and forest management, avoiding redundancies and loss of time during data collection. In this study, using a sample of forest stands belonging to three forest types of the southeastern Italian Alps, we explored the correlation among stand structural indices, and then we checked the relationships between stand structural indices and stand structural parameters. The results indicate that the stand structural indices vary among the sampled forest types. Moreover, the correlation among stand structural indices indicates that some of them are strongly intercorrelated and, thus, they can give redundant information. Strong correlations have been found between the Shannon index and the Mingling index, between the Gini index and the Diameter differentiation index, and between size dominance indices. Correlations between stand structural indices and stand structural parameters were weak, and, therefore, we cannot recommend the exclusive use of stand structural indices as alternative to the common stand structural parameters. Instead, the combined use of stand structural indices and parameters can be a robust solution for describing forest stand structure.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3413692
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