Landform and terrain shape indices are related to oak site index in the Missouri OzarksThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In the Southern Appalachians, metrics for quantifying the geometric shape of the land surface (terrain shape index or "tsi") and of the landform (land form index or "lfi") were developed and found to be correlated to yellow-poplar site index. However, the utility of these metrics for predicting site index for oaks in the Ozark Highlands has not been evaluated. We examined the relationship between black oak site index and the tsi and lfi with other measures of terrain, including the slope position and the (transformed) slope-aspect using data collected in 120 0.12-ac experimental units at the Sinkin Experimental Forest in southeastern Missouri. The tsi and lfi were each significant (P<0.05) parameters in models predicting site index. Concave land forms had greater tsi and lfi values and higher site index values than did convex land forms. The AICC scores indicated that the best models included parameters for slope position and aspect along with the tsi, lfi, or both. Models with the tsi were statistically indistinguishable from models that included the lfi. Overall, the tsi and lfi each appear to be useful for quantifying terrain shape and its infl uence on the productivity of upland hardwood stands in the Ozark Highlands.