Rucker Index Depth  

TOPIC: Another Idea - Rucker Index Depth

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Fri, Jan 25 2008 9:38 pm
From: "Edward Frank"


If you have been with the group for awhile you know I do not feel favorably toward the multiple iterations of the Rucker Index. This approach mentioned by Colby Rucker in a post strikes me as a better way to look at species depth, along with the previous idea of 3D Tree Profiles

Here is what Colby wrote in Part:

With a decent number of sites on the list, it's interesting to see how
specific areas rank, and speculate on why. For starters, I looked at the #
10 tree for each site, and noticed that CCW & MTSF were not only taller than
the sites ranked lower, but taller than a couple above. This goes to that
"deep depth" factor - lots of species over 100 feet.

Belt Woods is quite the opposite. Although the visual impact is rather
overwhelming, the tall-tree diversity is very low, with the #10 tree being
at the bottom of the list. If the list were based on just five species, the
list would be quite different: Sevier 158.1, Congaree 152.7, Belt 145.8,
Tamassee 145.8, Cook 141.9, Cohutta 140.0, Mohawk 139.8, Kelly 138.0, Chase
137.6, IceGlen 136.2, L.Pinnacle 130.0, Long Cane 129.7, Monroe 129.0, Grren
Lake 126.5, Beall 126.1, Corcoran 124.8.

If we take the average of the smaller five (trees #6 through # 10), we see
that "deep depth" factor again. Sevier 142.1, Congaree 131.3, Tamassee
125.9, Kelly 124.1, Chase 121.4, Mohawk 119.7, Long Cane 118.7, Cook 118.2,
Belt 116.2, LPinnacle 115.8, Corcoran 114.7, IceGlen 114.2, Beall 113.8,
Cohutta 109.8, GreenL 109.5, Monroe 105.4.

In the above list, Mohawk & Chase improved their rankings, as did Long Cane,
LPinnacle, IceGlen and Corcoran, suggesting considerable diversity in the
upper canopy. Although we are aware that the loss of a single outstanding
tree could change the numbers, that single tree does represent, as best as
we can determine, the potential of that species at this time, so it's
reasonable. If the lost tree is the last of its kind, it suggests that the
forest structure has changed, and there's no longer a niche for that

The looking at different portions of an extended Rucker Index strikes me as a viable approach.

Ed Frank