Differences in Optimal Growth Equations For White Oak in the Interior HighlandsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Optimal growth equations are fundamental to many ecological simulators, but few have been critically examined. This paper reviews some of the behavior of the Potential Relative Increment (PRI) approach. Models for white oak were compared for Arkansas River Valley (ARV), Boston Mountains (BoM), Ouachita Mountains (OM), and Ozark Highlands (OH) ecological sections of the Interior Highlands. Noticeable divergence in equation shape was observed in the section and pooled models. PRI curves for the ARV and OM models predicted poor optimal growth, especially in the smallest size classes. The OH equation predicted high juvenile performance but limited large tree optima while the BoM model peaked at intermediate diameters. These distinctions may arise from differences in physiological potential between sections, or, more likely, from inadequate sample distributions. Our study supports pooling to improve optimal growth modeling if phenotypic conditions do not vary substantially.