Rucker Index Background   Robert Leverett
  Feb 21, 2006 08:41 PST 


   The Rucker index concept is the creation of Will Blozan, Colby
Rucker, and myself. I think the notion of averaging the heights of the
ten tallest species originally came from Will in a telephone
conversation between us. After kicking it around in subsequent
telephonce conversations and e-mails, I suggested that we name the idea
the Rucker index. Colby, himself, was shy and reluctant to use the term
early on - although he applied the concept. As I recall, Lee was
supportive of the concept, as was Tom Diggins. However, one scientist
friend of mine didn't see much value in it, so there wasn't 100% backing
of the concept among the scientists on the list.

   In more recent times, Ed Frank has made excellent contributions to
the basic concept and the discussions around it, as has mathematician
John Eichholz. BVP and Roman Dial have extended the idea to the world at
large. The iterated form of the index extension is my invention, albeit
one that has gained only partial acceptance. I still use the iterated
index as a measure of the depth of tall trees across different species
for a site.

   I am thrilled and appreciative of Ed's willingness to maintain an
organized list of Rucker indexes for us on the website. I am working on
an extended index concept that I'll present when I see you in March.

   As it stands now, I basically leave it to the PhDs to determine the
value of the Rucker index to a more in-depth ecological understanding. I
tend to stay focused on improving the statistical descriptions of forest
sites more for historical than strictly scientific purposes.     

RE: Big tree finds/E-Journal   Don Bragg
  Feb 22, 2006 05:35 PST 


What you propose sounds perfect. I am interested in a discussion of all
aspects of the Rucker Index, not just the ecological implications. Even
if it only has meaning within ENTS, it is still a way to express the
structural (and, to a lesser extent compositional) diversity of a stand,
and provides a basis for comparing different areas.

Don Bragg