A growth and yield model for Pinus patula at Sao Hill, southern Tanzania
Using data from temporary and permanent sample plots various functions describing different stand parameter relationships were developed for P. patula growing at Sao Hill, Southern Tanzania. The functions include equations for: a Weibull diameter distribution, a single tree diameter increment, stand basal area, mortality, and height/diameter relationship. Also site index curves based on a Chapman-Richards equation were constructed, and a compatible taper/volume estimation system was developed. The functions were integrated into a micro-computer model SIMUL in BASIC language. The model is capable of estimating saw-log and pulp-log volumes for different spacings and thinning regimes. Inputs to the model are: initial and simulation ages, stocking/ha, stand mean and standard deviation of diameter at breast height (dbh), basal area/ha, site, dominant height, and minimum diameters and lengths of saw-logs and pulplogs. The output gives yearly values/ha for; stocking, total volume, total basal area/ha, means for dbh, height and tree volume, mortality number and volume/ha, and volumes of saw-logs and pulplogs as out-turn from subsequent thinnings and the final clearfelling. Validation with independent data showed that the model works satisfactorily. Experimental runs at different levels of spacing and thinning regimes suggested that the current thinning schedule at Sao Hill is too heavy and results in loss in total volume. The highest utilizable volumes (mainly saw logs) may be obtained by using the current spacing of 2.7 x 2.7m followed by one thinning at the age of about 11 years to leave about 1100 stems/ha, with a rotation age of 25 years. This treatment is also justified economically giving the highest present value at an interest rate of 3%. The current rotation age 15 years (unthinned) for the production of pulp wood only is ideal to produce the required dimensions (10-20 cm diameter) of pulp logs. SIMUL is recommended for use at Sao Hill and the technique may be adopted for other plantation species in Tanzania with new parameter estimates for the equations.