Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Poudel, Krishna P.

Committee Member

Himes, Austin J.

Committee Member

Ma, Qin

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


Anticipated climate change and increasing wood demand require dependable diameter growth models for adaptive forest management. We used a mixed-effects modeling approach with Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data to fit diameter growth models for loblolly pine, other softwood species (slash pine, shortleaf pine, and longleaf pine), sweetgum, and other hardwood (southern red oak, red maple, and water oak) species. Climatic variables coupled with individual tree attributes and competition factors improved climate insensitive models. Growth of loblolly pine and sweetgum was positively correlated with mean temperature of the coldest month. Mean temperature of the warmest month negatively influenced diameter growth of loblolly pine and other hardwood species. Growing season precipitation and summer precipitation balance had negative effects on the growth of softwood and hardwood species, respectively. Inclusion of FIA plot as random effect improved model fit statistics and residual distribution of climate sensitive models. These findings will be useful to managers for recalibrating diameter growth models resulting in improved biomass yield and volume estimates that will better inform decisions.