A stand is a contiguous area that contains a number of trees that are relatively homogeneous or have a common set of characteristics. Normally a stand will be studied or managed as a single unit.
Stand measurement involves the measurement of individual trees within the stand. The parameters measured, and the ways trees are selected for measurement will depend on the measurement objectives. The measurements are summarised using statistical and visual techniques to provide the user with a quick and efficient way of interpreting the data.
The focus of many stand measurements parallel tree measurements. For example, we can talk about stand height in the same way as tree height, and use it for the same reason, i.e. stand height is related to stand volume and stand growth.
Stand parameters of interest include:
- Number of trees:
- Stand Diameter: The average diameter of the stand.
- Stand Table (Frequency diagrams): Different ways of presenting the frequency of trees in diameter classes.
- Stand Structure: Distribution of trees by species and size (or age) class. Commonly divided into even-aged and uneven-aged stands.
- Stand Basal Area: A summary of frequency and diameter information. An important measure of competition.
- Stand Height: The average height of a defined component of the stand.
- Stand Height Curve: The relationship between tree diameter and height.
- Crown Closure: A measure of the amount of crown material. Also a measure of competition.
- Stand Volume:
- Stand Density: Measurements of the competition within the stand.
- Site Index: Measurements of the potential quality (potential for growth).