The efficacy of using inventory data to develop optimal diameter increment modelsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Most optimal tree diameter growth models have arisen through either the conceptualization of physiological processes or the adaptation of empirical increment models. However, surprisingly little effort has been invested in the melding of these approaches even though it is possible to develop theoretically sound, computationally efficient optimal tree growth models using inventory data. The Potential Relative Increment (PRI) methodology is a good example of a flexible potential growth modeling system developed under these auspices. I present a series of suggestions for ecological consistency, variable and parameter assumptions, statistical properties, data quality, and model flexibility that should be considered when developing optimal increment models, exemplified with white oak (Quercus alba L.) equations from the Midsouth region.