Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Schultz, Emily B.

Committee Member

Matney, Thomas G.

Committee Member

Newman, Michael E.

Committee Member

Grado, Stephen C.

Committee Member

Ezell, Andrew W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


Bottomland hardwood stands of the Mid-South region of the United States are some of the most productive forests in the country. A large percentage of these stands are owned by nonindustrial private forest landowners, who have little information on which to base management decisions. These stands are, therefore, a largely unmanaged and under-utilized reserve of high quality hardwoods. To provide landowners with a decision-making tool for comparing management scenarios, a growth and yield study was initiated in 1981. One hundred and fifty permanent plots were installed in red oaksweetgum stands. The study has been remeasured three times over the past 35 years. New plots were added when losses occurred due to natural disasters or harvesting. Stand level (Iles 2008), log grade volume distribution (Banzhaf 2009), and diameter distribution (Howard 2011) models were developed as component models of the overall growth and yield system. This study completes the modeling effort by developing individual tree equations for percent annual diameter growth and survival. Equations were constructed using linear, non-linear, and logistic regression techniques. The best set of developed equations was selected based on biological consistency, joint behavior when inserted into the growth and yield computer model, and the performance of each plot’s predicted future yield when compared to its observed data at the next projection period. Final independent stand level variables for the two models included age, diameter at breast height, trees per acre, and average height of dominant trees. Percent diameter growth and survival equations exhibited high fit statistics and when coupled with the other equations in the computer model, produced estimates for trees per acre, basal area, arithmetic and quadratic mean diameters with low bias and root mean squared error. The resulting growth and yield simulator implemented in Microsoft Visual Basic® Editor within Microsoft Excel® enables forest professionals and landowners to make better management decisions for their red oak-sweetgum mixture bottomland hardwood stands by projecting current forest inventories into the future, predicting average yields, and evaluating and comparing forest management scenarios.



growth and yield model||bottomland hardwoods||software||log grade estimation