Relationship between site index of oriental spruce [Picea orientalis (L.) Link] and ecological variables in Macka, Turkey

Ercanli I., Gunlu A., Altun L., Baskent E. Z.

SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH, vol.23, no.4, pp.319-329, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Oriental spruce [Picea orientalis (L.) Link] is a species native to Turkey, covering about 350,000 ha. The species is of great importance to the production of timber as well as to the creation of social welfare in eastern Black Sea region. There are few studies about ecological variables affecting oriental spruce site productivity. Based on data from 90 sample plots, multiple regression models were developed using topographic, edaphic, soil nutrients, climatic subgroups and all factors integrated. Within the different subgroups of site factors, the integrated model with all ecological variables provided the best statistical results, which explained 77% of index variation. Other topographic, edaphic, soil nutrients and climatic subgroup models were enumerated by the success of modelling site index of oriental spruce from the related site variables. The results show that the integrated model is more successful than the models developed separately for each ecological variable. However, the integrated model included 12 different variables and thus the assessment of some of these model variables, e. g. element content of the soil (Ca (2+), Mg (2+), etc.), require potentially laborious soil analyses and costly applications. Therefore, the topographic model with only three variables (R(2) = 0.656), which can be assessed directly from digital maps by Geographical Information System (GIS), seems to be more promising and convenient, since the model can be easily applied to large areas. The results can be translated into practical recommendations to forest managers for selecting suitable site conditions for oriental spruce.