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mean height (hL), some corrections had to be made. For this purpose, we transformed the Špiranec’s Loray’s mean height data to the dominant height data (H) according to the correction factor H/hL derived from the yield tables from Austria (Eckmüllner 2011).
The culmination age of the CAIh from Croatia yield tables is close to the age of 20 years for all site classes, which is earlier than the CAIh culmination age for the RU and ŽA. Compared to Serbia, the results highlight a tendency of faster (under the age of 100) and slower (beyond this age) beech height growth in Croatia (Figure 4). The research results of Lukić et al. (2003) also confirmed that the height growth of beech in undisturbed stand conditions in Croatia can be relatively fast, with a large initial increment. Based on the analyzed 30 beech trees, these authors determined a much earlier culmination of the CAIh (at the age of 17, in average).
The culmination ages of the CAIh determined here are in accordance with the time frames defined in the beech growth research in Slovenia (Kadunc 2003) and Serbia (Stajić 2010). Namely, the mentioned authors defined that the CAIh of beech trees culminated in the range of 24 to 39 years (according to a unique model based on all used trees at the age of 29) and at the age of 23 and 27 (at the sites of medium productivity), respectively.
As noted, site index studies have not been intensively performed in Serbia. Ratknić (1998) presented beech site indices for the area of western Serbia. According to these results, the culmination of the current height increment on poor sites occurs earlier compared to more productive sites that can be considered inadequate according to the present-day knowledge. As mentioned earlier, it is well known that the better the site, the earlier the current height increment in even-aged stands culminates and the amount at the age of culmination is greater. By summarizing the available information about the Ratknić’s method of site index construction provided, Stajić et al. (2016) concluded that it remains unclear whether the author has developed anamorphic or polymorphic site index curves.
Finally, the obtained site index curves should be primarily used to evaluate the production potential of beech on medium and low productive sites in our country. Further research of beech site productivity in Serbia needs to be performed for the most productive sites and in the direction of applying some of the base-age invariant modelling approaches, such as the algebraic difference approach – ADA (Bailey and Clutter 1974) and the generalised algebraic difference approach – GADA (Cieszewski and Bailey 2000).
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