Assessing tree growth and quality
The research involves traditional and novel techniques to assess tree growth and quality. Drones have been used to capture aerial images and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scans of each plot.
These data have made it possible to assess tree and stand productivity, competition indices, understorey light regimes and a range of environmental conditions. Initial results indicate that the mean volume of trees harvested at the second and third intervention was greater in the 'crown' and 'graduated density' thinning treatments compared with the 'low' thinning treatment.
Differences in stand structure as a result of alternative thinning regimes are starting to become more obvious (Figure 7). Individual tree growth models are being used to project future stand development, and to predict patterns of natural regeneration within each thinning treatment.