World Rucker Index

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#1)  World Rucker Index

Postby edfrank » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:01 pm

NTS,

Back in 2002 Dr. Robert Van Pelt published a list of the World Rucker Index on our discussion list:

Bob, et al.,

I applied the Rucker Index to my database to uncover all of the places that exceed 200. Here are the results:

Rucker Index locations over 200

World 305.4
United States 292.8
California 284.8
Australia 270.0
Washington 254.8
Oregon 254.3
Canada/British Columbia 235.9
Olympic National Park 233.7
Tasmania 225.5
Vancouver Island 225.4
Victoria 220.2
Prairie Creek Redwoods 219.1
New South Wales 201.4

The low diversity of trees in some Western forests quickly reduces the Index to below 200. Humboldt Redwoods SP, for example, has the world's tallest tree, and 86 trees over 350'. Due to the overwhelming dominance by redwood, the Index drops below 200 after only six species are included!

Borneo will probably make this list, but good data are scarce.

Cheers,
- BVP



This list is certainly outdated, and I don't have a list of what tree species were included in each list.  The Hyperion tree by itself would push the index for the World, North America, and California up by almost a foot.  Let us try to compile a new Rucker Index Listing for each of these localities and add in the Eastern united States and Europe.

World
United States
California
Australia
Washington
Oregon
Canada/British Columbia
Olympic National Park
Tasmania
Vancouver Island
Victoria
Prairie Creek Redwoods
New South Wales
Eastern United States
Europe

Ideally I would like to see the tallest 20 species listed along with location (state or country) for each category.  For some we may not have the data to do so, but lets give it a shot and try to get at least an updated 10 species Rucker Index for most of the sites.

Ed Frank
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#2)  Re: World Rucker Index

Postby dbhguru » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:53 pm

Ed,

  Good idea. We should also consider adopting a second kind of NTS tall tree site index by averaging the 10 tallest trees at a site irrespective of species. I realize that kind of index is less ecologically valuable, but it would better reflect what visitors experience when visiting a site that is dominated by a few species.

Bob
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#3)  Re: World Rucker Index

Postby edfrank » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:44 pm

Come on Guys, look at your lists and help compile some updated Rucker Indices for these various sites.

The reason for the request is that a PHD Student from Tasmania ask about the old World Rucker Index information on our website from 2002 cited above.  He asked:

I am currently writing a manuscipt on tall eucalypts in a global context and was hoping I could quote some figures in one of your webpages (specifically this page) regarding the Rucker index for some places. Is there some scientific article or book citation I could get to obtain these figures on the Rucker index of the world or would there be some person I could obtain permission permission to cite these figures? The post was signed off only in the initials 'BVP'.
 

In a follow-up note today he wrote:

I definitely want to try to incorporate the Rucker index into my report. I find the index to be quite a simple and elegant way to make a point about tall trees in a site/place/country and I would love to go deeper into it in my final writeup on the report I am doing, which if you'd like I will send you a copy once it is done.  It would certainly be very helpful for me to have a current Rucker index if there are any updates on it.  


So here is an opportunity to get some of our work out into the world, not only the raw numbers, but the use of the Rucker Index to characterize sites.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky
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#4)  Re: World Rucker Index

Postby dbhguru » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:44 am

Ed,

  Agreed. Time for us to get back into Rucker analysis in a serious way. When others start using the RHI, it behooves us to keep our lists current.

Bob
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#5)  Re: World Rucker Index

Postby tsharp » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:23 am

NTS: It seems to me if one is going to title an R10 index as a World Rucker Index it would be logical to present an R10 from each continent and calculate the World Index from that. It would also be interesting to see how many (if any) introduced species are present in each continents R10.
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#6)  Re: World Rucker Index

Postby edfrank » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:47 pm

NTS,

I went through a number of big tree sites and generated an updated list for the World and for North America based upon what data I could find.  I likely with some more work could pull out a RI for California.  Maybe some western people can chime in on the western state by state by province by park numbers.  And I hope others can update and correct this initial list:

World Rucker Index:  312.39
North America Rucker Index:  297.34

World Rucker Index
               
                       
World_rucker01.jpg
                                       
               

World Trees Other
               
                       
world_trees_other.jpg
                                       
               
 
North America Rucker Index
               
                       
north_america_rucker01.jpg
                                       
               
 
North America Other Trees
               
                       
north_america_other.jpg
                                       
               


               
                       
world_rucker.xlsx
                                               
(13.76 KiB) Downloaded 89 times
               
               


Edward Frank

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#7)  Re: World Rucker Index

Postby edfrank » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:31 pm

NTS,

I received this reply today:

Great work Frank,

As a matter of interest, I have found this mysterious entry on a website called wondermondo (link here) of a 96.9m tree (Petersianthus quadrialatus Merr.). Not sure whether it deserves to be included into the Rucker index.
Also, there is this interesting record of the tallest tree in Africa being a eucalypt planted there a century or so ago. It is Eucalyptus saligna at 80+ meters (it was actually properly measured by climbing or laser but I can't recall the exact height. Maybe it can be incorporated into the index if it doesn't matter that it is actually out of it's native range.  

Another a matter of interest: I have also received some interesting news from a professor of mine here who specializes in eucalypts in Tas that they found an interesting old forestry record (an possibly well authenticated) of a 90m Eucalyptus cordata, which is a Tasmanian endemic. This species is closely related to E. globulus. This individual probably no longer exists.
I will find out more about this from the Prof and keep you posted.

Regards,
David Tng


I responded:

David,

I will see what I can find about the wondermondo site http://www.wondermondo.com/Attractions/Trees.htm#f .  Here i the US are many examples of white pine trees over 220 feet tall reported in forestry literature – The general, but not unanimous consensus is that these heights were estimates, mismeasured or exaggerations.  I really would not trust old forestry records well enough o be included in data tables, but might mention these references as a footnote,  Something would need to be almost 89 meters to make the top ten list, so the Eucalyptus salinga  would not make the to ten.  The tallest hardwoods in the US and North America is E. regnans has been recorded to 240'+ in CA – planted specimens.  On the wondermondo site I found  the listing you mentioned also:  

Barangay Alegria Toog - Agusan del Sur, Philippines. Tallest known Philippine rosewood (Petersianthus quadrialatus Merr.), 96.9 m high or a bit lower, with 3,66 m diameter at its base. Sacred tree to Manobo people.

This would make the list, I would just need to verify his data source.  We have been playing with 20 species versions of the Rucker Index for our well documented sites, but the data is so scattered for tallest trees, you likely are better off with a ten species list.  I will keep working at updating the listings as information is compiled.


Anybody know the source of the info on the wondermondo site?

Edward Frank

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#8)  Re: World Rucker Index

Postby fooman » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:45 pm

The toog tree was in the wikipedia listing for the tallest trees in the world, but was removed as it had no verifiable height measurement - the given height apparently includes a large decorative christmas cross.

More information at the following:

http://benjieinlianga.blogspot.com/2008/01/treed.html
http://www.pbase.com/jojie_alcantara/th ... stmas_tree

Cheers,
Matt
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#9)  Re: World Rucker Index

Postby edfrank » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:30 pm

Matt,

Thanks for the information.  It is difficult to pull all the data together ad to know what are good numbers and what are not if you don't know the source.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky
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