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Biases in the estimation of size-dependent mortality models: advantages of a semiparametric approach

Abstract : Mortality rate is thought to show a U-shape relationship to tree size. This shape could result from a decrease of competition-related mortality as diameter increases, followed by an increase of senescence and disturbance-related mortality for large trees. Modeling mortality rate as a function of diameter is nevertheless difficult, first because this relationship is strongly nonlinaer, and second because data can be unbalanced, with few observations for large trees. Parametric functions, which are inflexible and sensitive to the distribution of observations, tend to introduce biases in mortality rate estimates. In this study we use mortality data for Abies alba Mill. and Picea abies (L.) Karst. to demonstrate that mortality rate estimates for extreme diameters were biased when usaing classical parametric functions. We then propose a semiparametric approach allowing a more flexible relationship between mortality and diameter. We show that the relativity shade-tolerant A. alba has a lower annual mortality rate (2.75%) thant P. abies (3.78%) for small trees (DBH =50cm).
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Submitted on : Friday, May 15, 2020 - 4:30:11 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 19, 2021 - 5:18:06 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02592702, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00027867

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G. Vieilledent, Benoît Courbaud, Georges Kunstler, J.F. Dhote, J.S. Clark. Biases in the estimation of size-dependent mortality models: advantages of a semiparametric approach. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, NRC Research Press, 2009, 39, pp.1430-1443. ⟨hal-02592702⟩

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