Multi-volume modeling of Eucalyptus trees using regression and artificial neural networks

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The stem volume of commercial trees is an important variable that assists in decision making and economic analysis in forest management. Wood from forest plantations can be used for several purposes, which makes estimating multi-volumes for the same tree a necessary task. Defining its exploitation and use potential, such as the total and merchantable volumes (up to a minimum diameter of interest), with or without bark, is a possible work. The goal of this study was to use different strategies to model multi-volumes of the stem of eucalyptus trees. The data came from rigorous scaling of 460 felled trees stems from four eucalyptus clones in high forest and coppice regimes. The diameters were measured at different heights, with the volume of the sections obtained by the Smalian method. Data were randomly separated into fit and validation data. The single multi-volume model, volume-specific models, and the training of artificial neural networks (ANNs) were fitted. The evaluation criteria of the models were: coefficient of determination, root mean square error, mean absolute error, mean bias error, as well as graphical analysis of observed and estimated values and distribution of residuals. Additionally, the t-test (α = 0.05) was performed between the volume obtained in the rigorous scaling and estimated by each strategy with the validation data. Results showed that the strategies used to model different tree stem volumes are efficient. The actual and estimated volumes showed no differences. The multi-volume model had the most considerable advantage in volume estimation practicality, while the volume-specific models were more efficient in the accuracy of estimates. Given the conditions of this study, the ANNs are more suitable than the regression models in the estimation of multi-volumes of eucalyptus trees, revealing greater accuracy and practicality.





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PLoS ONE, v. 15, n. 9 September, 2020.

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