A new use of statistics and lists

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#1)  A new use of statistics and lists

Postby dbhguru » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:12 pm

Ents,

  With tree communications at a low ebb, the attachment presents information that may appeal to those who live by statistics.

Bob
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Robert T. Leverett
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bbeduhn, Don
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#2)  Re: A new use of statistics and lists

Postby MarkGraham » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:33 pm

Interesting article on another approach to define a mountain's prominence.

For forests I am intrigued by the NASA canopy height map, and how it can be applied at more detailed level.  For example, what is the average canopy height along Bull Creek in Humboldt Redwoods.

For those wanting to get out there and measure, in addition to taking the top height for each of the tallest ten tree species in a grove, do something like find the acre within the grove with the tallest average tree height, regardless of species.

https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/featu ... t-map.html
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#3)  Re: A new use of statistics and lists

Postby dbhguru » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:41 am

Mark,

  Actually, we've done average canopy height determinations before, but the amount of work required makes us wince. The most basic approach, measuring from the ground, is to lay out a grid and randomly sample within it. Any of several standard sampling plans can be used, e.g. simple random, stratified random, sequential, etc. They all will give a good enough result, but if it can be done through LIDAR mapping all the better.

  In Massachusetts, we can quickly point out all our tallest forests. It's easy. They're all white pine stands, but to do the job justice, stand area must come into play. The super stands are small and they usually grow at the edge of and into shallow ravines. If the terrain changes abruptly such as going from relatively flat to a steep-sided ridge, then the species mix changes accordingly and one is inclined to see little benefit to averaging across such extremes. Visually it is obvious that it becomes the equivalent of average the heights of a cluster of midgets with a cluster of giants. What's the purpose?

  One area I spend a lot of time in is the white pine stand on the William Cullen Bryant property in Cummington MA. I do volunteer measuring fro the Trustees of Reservations and Jared Lockwood and I will re-measure all the tall pines in the stand. At present, I have 20 of them as exceeding 150 feet with the Bryant Pine at 164. HOwever, this is a property where an average canopy height could be calculated both by sections and overall.

Bob
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#4)  Re: A new use of statistics and lists

Postby MarkGraham » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:34 pm

Bob

That is a nice grove of white pines there in MA.

If just the upper canopy is included, I wonder what the "tallest acre" of trees could be in the Northeast.  Is it in Cook's Forest, Great Smoky Mountains, or Massachusetts, or the Cuyahoga Valley, or somewhere else?

Then in the western US, and consequently the world, I would put the "tallest acre" in Humboldt Redwoods Harper Flat.

Then, thinking in Peak Bagger terms, the tallest tree in the eastern US would have what kind of prominence, how far west would one have to go to find a 200 foot tree?

The tallest tree in Redwood National Park has infinite prominence.   After that, the redwood tree with the greatest prominence would be the tallest one in Big Basin, which would be 225 or so miles from the next tallest tree, Mendocino Redwood in Montgomery Reserve.  Then from Mendocino Redwood the next tallest tree would be in Humboldt about 80 miles away.   Then the tallest tree in Humboldt has a prominence of 60 miles, with the next taller tree in Redwood National Park.

Mark
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#5)  Re: A new use of statistics and lists

Postby dbhguru » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:13 pm

Mark,

 Tallest acre in the Northeast is likely in Cook Forest. Tallest acre in the East is almost certainly in the Great Smoky Mountains. Interesting questions on prominence for eastern trees. More thoughts to come.

Bob
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#6)  Re: A new use of statistics and lists

Postby ElijahW » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:28 pm

Bob,

I really enjoyed reading through this.  Other than Rogers and Leconte, I haven't had the pleasure of viewing the high peaks of the southern Appalachians.  It looks like I've been missing some beautiful mountains.

Whiteface impresses from many angles, but the changes men have made over the years to the slopes and summit detract from its beauty.  Viewed at a distance, I think Santanoni is the best the Adirondacks has to offer.  

Traveling east, New Hampshire's Presidential Range is imposing, but no single peak stands out like Maine's Katahdin.  For my money, Katahdin is the most impressive mountain in the northeast.

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks
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#7)  Re: A new use of statistics and lists

Postby dbhguru » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:36 am

Elijah,

 I think most of us would agree with you on Kathadin. It has the look of a western summit.

 Santanoni has a local prominence of approximately 2640 feet, but its location and shape give it a visibility that adds to its impact.

 I completely agree on Whiteface, a magnificent mountain screwed up with development. I'll say no more on that topic.

 With respect to the southern highlands, not many people realize how dominant they are in terms of the number of high elevations in the east. Applying the Peak Baggers elevational criteria for a single peak, there are arguably 40 peaks in the southern Apps achieving a summit elevation of 6,000 feet or more. Strict application of the criteria probably drops the number to 39. In the Northeast, Mount Washington hold the distinction of being our only 6000-footer. Drop down to 5000 feet and the southern Apps boast 197 summits. The Northeast has 10.When it comes to 4000-footers, there are too many in the southern Apps to keep track of.

  One feature that distinguishes the northern Appalachians and the Adirondacks from their southern counterparts is glaciation. The northern summits have more carved faces that often make them appear more rugged.

   Lastly, Mount Rogers, ah yes, Mount Rogers in VA. High at 5,729 feet, its local prominence is embarrassingly low. It shares this attribute with the high peaks of the West Virginia Alleghenies, although some of the latter do better even though over a thousand feet lower in altitude above sea level.

   Mark has given me pause to think about a prominence equivalent for trees. Hmmm, have we run out of things to do?

Bob
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#8)  Re: A new use of statistics and lists

Postby Don » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:58 pm

Bob/Elijah/Mark-
Returning from 'global prominences', it occurs to me to consider that often the tallest of trees are most impressive because of their 'emergent' nature, how much they rise above the 'sea of crowns below', veritable 'islands in a forest sky'...
-Don
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#9)  Re: A new use of statistics and lists

Postby dbhguru » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:42 am

Don,

  Yesterday afternoon I witnessed what you describe as the source of our inspiration in the Bryant Woods. I took a group on a walk through the woods that begins in a younger, weedy, uninspiring forest. In less than a hundred yards, the scene changes into an increasingly mature woodland. Farther on, you reach old growth. After a chorus of oohs and ahs from the old trees that form a 90 to 110-foot canopy, we move into Bryant's stand of  huge white pines. You see their blue-green tops rising 40 to 60 feet above the hardwoods. Oohs and ahs turn to gasps. I know of no other forest in Massachusetts or elsewhere in New England that equals Bryant in this visual aspect.

Bob
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#10)  Re: A new use of statistics and lists

Postby Don » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:15 pm

Bob-
I'd say that amounts to a relatively high "prominence" rating!
My comment came while I was in the middle of Google-ing the forests that I'll be among next week in the mid-Sierras (about 30 air miles West of Lake Tahoe. immediately east of the Desolation Wilderness Area, scanning the forests there for emergent crowns that leap out at me, either because of prominent spidery crowns (sugar pines) or rounded top plush crowns (ponderosa/jeffrey pines)...one of the cues is the breath of the tree's trunk shadows (certain satellite images capture this well, July 2010 if memory serves me...lower the "eye elevation" to 500 feet, and sugar pine crowns are very define-able (they being the larger of the pine family)). ; > }
-Don
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