Thresholds for sport and science dbhg-@comcast.net Oct 03, 2003 06:51 PDT
 ENTS:    Statistics matter. Then there are "lies, damn lies, and statistics". It depends of how carefully they've been developed, who uses them, and for what purposes, i.e. to inform, mislead, or evangelize. Unfortunately, in today's sound bite world, they are often used to trivialize. But not so, ENTS.    For big tree thresholds, some of us are always experimenting with combinations that seem to tell us something about species maximums. But how fine-tuned do we want to get and when the potential combinations go through the roof, where do we call it quits? Do fractions matter? Sometimes they do.     Let's consider some sports analogies. If you are a major league baseball player, a seasonal batting average of 3 hits for every 10 trips to the plate puts you in pretty exclusive company. An average of four hits for every ten trips makes you a legend. The addition of an average of one hit in ten trips to the plate pinpoints the limits of hitting. Big players, little players, tall players, short players, all players bow to the limit. The .300 is a threshold, .350 is another.     For baseball fans, that average of one additional hit in ten is no minor matter. Real baseball fans would never mistake a .300 hitter for a .400 hitter, if there were any today (Ted Williams was the last and he had exactly one seasons over .400). So a difference of 0.100 in seasonal batting average is of monumental importance to baseball owners, players, and fans. Small differences can be incredibly significant when a limit is being approached.     So what are some of the upper limits for eastern trees and corresponding thresholds? Well, it sounds like an age of 420 years is one for chestnut oak, courtesy of Ed Cook and Neil Pederson. What would some chestnut oak thresholds be - ages that stratify old chestnut oaks into the commonplace, the unusual, and the extraordinary. I don't know. I suspect Neil does, or at least he has a good idea. Neal? Bob
 Thresholds for sport and science continued Robert Leverett Oct 03, 2003 07:54 PDT
 ENTS:    Seeing tree dimension and growth through limits and thresholds is admittedly more sport than science, unless the reasons for the limits and thresholds are studied. What is genetic, what is climate driven, disturbance driven, nutrient and moisture availability driven, etc.    There are plenty of sufficiently favorable growing spots harboring white pine in eastern Massachusetts, but eastern Massachusetts white pines just doesn't quite match the western Mass population when it comes to growth. Why isn't there an exception here or there? Maybe there is and I haven't found any of them. But there is an east-west gradient.     What is it about the area in Vermont that Russ Richardson told us about earlier that produces white pines of extraordinary growth potential. Is the spot on which they grow really that different from surrounding lands? Historically, around Blandford, VT. white pines of extraordinary grew. If left alone for 150 years, would we see them once again?         Well, there are lots of fascinating reasons to collect data and that is exactly what I'm headed out the door to do today on a day off with my wife accompanying me. What will the agenda? Buy apples, measure trees. Stop at the antique store. Measure trees. Swing by Joann Fabrics, then go measure trees. Seek out a used book store. Measure trees. I'm sure everyone has the picture. A full report will be rendered tonight. Bob
 Re: Thresholds for sport and science Colby Rucker Oct 03, 2003 09:14 PDT