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    Tree mortality is a poorly understood process in the boreal forest. Whereas large disturbances reset succession by killing all or most trees, background tree mortality was hypothesized to be affected by competition, ageing, and stand composition. We tested these hypotheses on jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) mortality using data from long-term repeatedly measured permanent sample plots collected between 1952 and 1989 in Ontario, Canada. The probability of mortality over a 5-year period was modeled using logistic regression with the maximum likelihood estimation employed for parameter estimation. Relative competitiveness, measured as the ratio of individual tree diameter at breast height (DBH) to mean stand DBH, explained more variation in mortality than stand age did. Mortality increased rapidly with decreasing DBH ratio. A V-shaped mortality pattern with stand age was found, whereas stand composition had no effect on mortality. Developed by using a residual sequential regression approach, our final mixed-effects model with a 81 percent model correctness of mortality prediction conclusively demonstrated that relative competitiveness is the key determinant for jack pine mortality.

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    Chen, Han Y. H.; Fu, Songling; Monserud, Robert A.; Gillies, Ian C. 2008. Relative size and stand age determine Pinus banksiana mortality. Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 255, p. 3980-3984


    Relative competitiveness, stand composition, logistic model, boreal forest, jack pine

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