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Site Index: Accuracy of Prediction

Informally Refereed
Authors: Donald E. Beck, Kenneth B. Trousdell
Year: 1973
Type: Research Paper
Station: Southern Research Station
Source: USDA Forest Service Research Paper SE-108


With the current forecasts of increasing demands for forest products from a decreasing land base, many foresters are preoccupied with ways to increase productivity. Therefore, it is appropriate that foresters take a look at just how well they are evaluating productivity, or site quality, at the present time. Evaluation of site quality has always been an important part of forest management. As management has intensified, accurate estimates have become increasingly important. For this discussion, we have restricted ourselves to one measure of site quality. That measure is site index, which is defined as the height reached by a forest stand at a selected index age. It can be debated whether or not site index is the best possible measure of site quality. However, over the years it has proved to be a useful indicator. It is widely used for direct estimates, as well as being used as a base for developing and testing alternative methods. Thus, we will confine ourselves to a discussion of how accurately site index can be estimated at the present time and how the accuracy of these estimates might be improved.


Beck, Donald E.; Trousdell, Kenneth B. 1973. Site Index: Accuracy of Prediction. Res. Paper SE-108. Asheville, NC: Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 7 p.