Updated: Jan 4, 2022
A list of the more important changes made to Assisi Forest during 2014 and prior
Smaller bug fixes and interface enhancements are not generally listed.
(Partial list, sorry.)
Calibration Factors Report Added
Calibration in Assisi is the process of calculating scaling factors for prediction models such total and merch height estimates. During calibration, measured heights are compared to predicted heights and a multiplicative factor is calculated that scales model estimates to be closer to measured values. Scaling factors are made on a stand and species basis meaning one factor is calculated for each species and single stand. A test for statistical significance is used to determine which factors are statistically significant and are used to scale model predictions when heights need estimating, either during growth or when heights were not measured as part of a survey.The Calibration Report displays scaling factors across all stands in a forest. Significant factors are shown in dark blue, not significant factors in light blue. The report makes it easy to quickly see how many stands compare well to model estimates and how many do not. With Assisi’s ability to run multiple models and customize their performance, the Calibration Report is a valuable tool for becoming comfortable using forestry models.
Cover Added to Stratification Wizard
The Stratification Wizard is used to create copies of field data grouped by a user defined strata. The strata can be from the Strata field in the Plots table and now from the Type field of the Cover table. Stratifying by cover allows cover determination to be a sampling process in itself or a simple observation of plots. When forest type or “cover” is sampled, averages by plot and stand are created. Tree, plot and stands can then be mapped back to cover and field data reorganized based on forest type or another of the many kinds of typing fields Assisi has available. By carrying both stratified and landscape views of a forest at the same time, inventory results can be mapped between the two with field efforts focused on sampling forest types rather than landscape areas. The Stratification Wizard makes exploring the performance of a stratified inventory easier whether using plot level forest types or cover type sampling.
Acadia Growth Model Added
The Acadia growth model is a tree taper and growth model covering major species in the Northeast US and Southeast Canadian region. Acadia is a research effort at the University of Maine under the leadership of Aaron Weiskittel.Assisi implements Acadia in two forms. The “Acadia” calibration makes use of the Acadia DLL that is maintained by the Univ of Maine. The “Assisi Acadia” calibration is an Assisi implementation of the same equations as are found in the Acadia DLL. Both models give largely the same results, however the Assisi Acadia model exposes species coefficients while the Acadia DLL does not. Assisi can process scaling factors for either model equally well.
Species Model Mapping Added
With Assisi, model settings could always be made on a species by species basis, however using the settings of another species meant copying the settings from that species to other species. Now, the MappedSpeciesCode setting can be used to tell specific models to use the settings of another species directly. This means settings are only made for one species with the mapped species always using the lasts values of its source. For example, setting MappedSpeciesCode=RM for the total height model of the Striped Maple species will cause Striped Maple to use whatever total height model and settings are being used for Red Maple.
Crown Growth Equation Added
TPA Min DBH Added
Species Form Added
Units by Stand Added
Metric or English units are now set on a stand by stand basis.
Cover Added to Trees Table
Site Index Added to Trees
Broken Top Estimates Added to Compile Plots
Estimates of the missing total heights of broken top trees have been added to the compile results.Estimates of broken top total heights appear as red circles with transparent centers. Transparent centers distinguish them from non-broken top total heights which are solid. Total heights for broken tops are estimated so that diameter growth can be estimated when growing inventory. The broken top height is retained throughout growth however.
FLIPS Import Added
FLIPS (Forest Land Inventory Planning System) is an inventory projection system built by Atterbury Consultants for regions of the Northwest US. The growth projections in FLIPS incorporate yield tables published by government forestry departments. The FLIPS import gives FLIPS users the ability to run FLIPS field data through Assisi’s various growth and taper models such as ORGANON growth and yield and Flewelling taper.
FIA Import Added
The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program is a USDA sampling program begun in during the 1930s. Its mission is to track forest and rangeland changes at the county scale throughout the US. FIA sample designs are composed of permanent nested plots on a hexagonal grid with one plot per 6000 acres. These plots are resampled on a rotation basis once every 5 years. Each plot is composed of 4 cluster plots that are in turn composed of 3 sub plots. The 3 sub plots sample regeneration (<5”), trees (>5”) and large trees (>40”).While sampling for tree attributes is a major objective, the FIA design also samples for ownership, land and forest types and water. Because the sample points are permanently fixed on the landscape, the cover type sampling combined with forest attributes means one can track forested landscape changes over time for a wide variety of strata.Assisi has added and tree and cover import from phase 2 FIA databases (version 1.5.1). The data imported is what Assisi can make use of: trees and cover. Because cover stratification is an integral part of FIA analysis, the ability to stratify on the various cover fields (known as “conditions” in FIA terms) was also added to Assisi’s Stratification Wizard. FIA import along with cover stratification should provide FIA users exciting new possibilities for analysis within Assisi.
Vegetation Renamed Cover
Assisi’s Vegetation data has been renamed “Cover” and expanded to carry additional fields. The fields added allow for the FIA cover data to be imported and used for stratification purposes. Cover fields now include ForestType, LandType, SizeClass, Owner, CoverType and a generic Type field that is used for stratification in a way similar to the Plot.Stratum field. The old vegetation fields of Species, Height and Percent remain.
Allowed Values Tables Added
Additional allowed values (lookup) tables were added to support FIA data. Values are user defined and so can be changed if not processing FIA data.Owner - Ex. “Forest Service”, “State”, “Private”, etc.SizeClass – Ex. “Large”, “Small”, “Non Stocked”, etc.Water – Water features present in plot. Ex. “Large”, “Small”, “Temporary”, “Swamp”, etc.Productivities – Estimated ranges of volume produced per year.SampleStates – Reasons for a plot unable to be sampled. Ex. “No Access”, “Location Wrong”, etc.
Calculated Defect Added
Measured defect can be entered using percent defect on trees, logs or both. Defect can also be accounted for using log length and diameter deductions. Because defect can be entered in more than one place at one time, net volume is calculated as gross minus the sum of all defect sources both tree and log and both percent and deduction. After gross and net volumes are available, Assisi calculates a new “calculated” defect from these. The effect will be seen when more than one type of defect has been recorded. For example, when tree or log defect are entered along with length or diameter deductions. The calculated defect was not being saved to the database: only the inputted defects and volume amounts were being saved. Now, the calculated defect is saved and also shown on the progress viewer when volumes are processed. Note that volumes were being calculated correctly: it was only the saving of a calculated defect that was not done.
Elevation Field Added
An Elevation field was added to the Plots table.
Species Form Field Added
A species form field was added to the Species table. Form is used to describe species growth shape such: “Tree”, “Small Tree”, “Shrub”, etc.
Scheduling by Year Replaced with Begin and End Dates
Actions are now scheduled using begin and end dates rather than a single year. This allows for more planning and interface possibilities. When upgrading a database to this version, any scheduled years must be converted to begin and end dates.
Plan Scheduling Tool Added
The Stand Simulator has had a timeline where actions such as planting, thinning and fertilizing can be easily added and moved to other dates. A similar scheduling tool has been added to the Planning Editor for performing similar actions on multiple stands. Now you can create multi stand schedules by dragging management actions around a grid of stands and years. Exploring the effects of harvest timing and thinning is a matter of moving actions and viewing the results in the simulation viewer.
Model Settings by Stand
A settings field has been added where stand level model options can be set. The first to be added is the Red Alder planting density setting for ORGANON.
Override Sub Plot Content, Group and Type by Cruise
The sub plot fields for content, group and type have been added to the cruise level overrides. Complete sub plots can be added to a cruise design using cruise level overrides rather than needing sub plots already listed for in a cruise design.
Add Grade and Quality Codes
Code fields were added to grade and quality definitions. Codes allow easier translating from other databases to Assisi's definitions.
Add FLIPS Import
An import of field data from FLIPS databases has been added to the Import Tool.
Add Logs Table to Stand Simulator
A logs view was added to the the output of the Stand Simulator. Stand simulation results can now be browsed by Year and Stand, species, tree, log and grade.
Add Formatted Text Editors
Description fields for Units, Calibrations, Plans, Cruise Designs and Markets are now richly formatted documents. The editor supports character and paragraph formatting, styles, images, import and export to many file formats, bookmarks, hyperlinks and spell checking. Now you can create fully formatted documents to describe calibrations, markets and units in detail.
Rewrite Calibration Descriptions
Calibration descriptions have been rewritten for more information and clarity.
Add Scott Board & Cubic Volume Equations
The board and cubic equations of Scott (Scott, 1981) were implemented. These equations model volume tables in equation form for species throughout the Northeast.
Log Trim at Scale Heights
If a log has length < scaling multiple, that log's length is supposed to move into the next log. When this test was done at a scale point such as sawlog, merch or scaling height, trim was not being subtracted from the scale point before the test was made. This caused logs < scaling multiple to pass the test if they were at the scale point and had a length between scaling multiple and scaling multiple - trim.
Cumulative Log Heights
As part of testing the above, a column was added to show cumulative height for each log. This column details are in debug mode. The cumulative height is the height at log top plus trim, or the height where log diameters are calculated. Note that these heights can be relative to ground or stump depending on the "Heights Relative To" calibration setting. In other words you may need to add stump when verifying taper diameters by hand.
Decimal Scaling Diameter
Scaling diameter was changed to a decimal so that scaling heights could be to decimal diameter sizes.
Decimal Fixed Length
Fixed length log lengths was change to a decimal to aid in numerically integrating volume.
Growing Field Called Logs
Logs called in the field are now carried through during growth. The lengths of field called logs remain the same throughout growth and simulation. The diameters increase, but the lengths remain the same. Logs above those called in the field grow in both length and diameter through time. These logs begin with fixed length.
Add Graded Option to Database Save
Log volume has until now been tallied into board, cubic, carbon and user volume tallies "simultaneously" or "not exclusively". Meaning, a given log will contribute its volume to board and cubic and carbon and user at the same time. The board, cubic, carbon and user volume tallies have not been "exclusive" of each other.The one place where they have been exclusive is on the market reports. The marketing process tallies graded volume rather than ungraded volume. Graded volume first assigns a grade which then maps the log volume to only one of the volume tallies. In this way, when you look at graded volume, you are looking at volume that appears in only one of the volume tallies at a time. In other words, graded volume is "exclusive". Ungraded volume is "not exclusive". Only the market report has shown graded volumes until now.With this version of Assisi an option to store all volume as graded has been added. With this option, volume is stored only to the volume tally its assigned grade maps to. When used, all volume throughout Assisi is graded volume, even as stored in the database. This means all reports as well as external database queries will be graded volumes.
"Compare" Option Added to Sub Sampling
Show Taper Sawlog & Merch Predictions in Sub Sample and Estimation Plots
An option of "Taper" was added as the sawlog or merch height calculations. Taper uses a min diameter and taper to calculate where sawlog and merch height fall. This was always an option in the past, but making it a formal selection will cause it to show up on the height estimation plots during compile.
The models from U. of Maine known as the "Acadia" models were added.
Grade Report by Grade, Group, Quality or Products
The Grade Report can now display headings by grade, grade group, product or quality. In addition, cross tab sums are now for each unique volume type (total, gross or net) rather than combining types.
Metric Options Expanded
Assisi has supported metric in the past by setting IsMetric=true in the configuration table. This assumed all data and equations were calculating in the same units. However, it is more often the case that field data are in one unit while equations are in a mix of units. For example, the new Acadia growth models are in metric but data may be in English or in metric. Furthermore, equations that are not a part of the Acadia model, might be drawn from other models that may be in English units. For example, the TWIGS English unit sawlog height model might be used along with the Acadia metric models because Acadia does not have a sawlog height model.With this version of Assisi, each equation specifies its own units so that mixed English and metric models can be used where needed. The equation units are separate from the data units so that data and equations can be in different units. Equation units are set using the setting Units=English or Units=Metric within each equation. The data units are set using the Units=English or Metric configuration setting. The IsMetric configuration setting has been removed. Units for both equations and data are assumed to be English if a setting is not found.
Interrupting 5 Year Growth ORGANON
ORGANON is a 5 year growth model that Assisi interpolates 1 year rates from. This is a correct use of the model and produces the same results as the DOS version. However, it also delays visually the response to fertilization or thinning. The delay is only visual and is caused by estimates of growth response not being available until the next 5 year cycle after a fertilization or thinning is done. ie. it is an artifact of using 5 year growth steps but growth responses are still adequately modeled by ORGANON's 5 year steps.Assisi has until now been interrupting the 5 year cycle to re-estimate growth in the year a fertilization or thinning occurs. Although this has enabled a growth response to fertilization or thinning to be immediately seen in the years following, it has introduced a bias and produces slightly different results than if the same stand is run in DOS ORGANON where interruptions are not possible.To correct for this, a new setting called IsInterupt5YearSteps has been added to the ORGANON growth model settings. The default value is false so that if you do not add this variable and set it to true, the 5 year growth cycles of ORGANON will not be interrupted by fertilization or thinning. ie, setting IsInterupt5YearSteps to false runs ORGANON in the same fashion as DOS ORGANON. A value of true will interrupt growth on the year of a fertilization or thinning and calculate new growth values at that point rather than waiting until the next 5 year cycle. Although interruptions introduce a source of error, the option is available to explore model limits.
Use of the ORGANON fertilization model has been added. ORGANON includes a fertilization response model that boosts growth according to an application of nitrogen fertilizer. A maximum of 400 pounds per acre of nitrogen can be applied per stand in any single year. In addition, the model requires that stands be at least 80 percent Douglas-fir by basal area, even-aged and under 70 years old. Fertilization rules are set up like other rules in Assisi using the Rules Editor. A fertilization rule includes a single parameter: the lbs of nitrogen applied per acre. Fertilization actions can occur during simulations or as part of the historical record of a stand, including pre history (see below).
Pre-History Actions Added to History
History actions have been defined in Assisi as actions taken after a cruise and before the inventory target date. When cruise data are grown, history actions are simulated so that growth reflects important actions like thinning and planting.When using the ORGANON growth model, the response functions to a thinning or fertilization are dependent on what was thinned or fertilized during the time periods just prior to estimating growth. This is obvious because thinning and fertilization affect future growth. But, what if thinning or fertilization occurred at dates before you have an actual tree estimate? Growth of the estimate will still be affected by whatever thinning or fertilization occurred just prior. So, these actions, if possible, should be included in the stand history, along with any history occurring after the estimate so that ORGANON can model the response to all of them.Assisi calls actions taken before a tree estimate is available "pre-history" actions. Pre history actions are entered in the historical records of a stand just as "history" actions are. However, because they are not simulated during growth (they have occurred before the cruise date of the tree list being grown), they do not need a rule associated with them. The details of the thin or fertilization are instead defined as part of the history record itself.
ORGANON Genetic Modifiers
ORGANON includes a model that adjust growth to better match genetically improved stock. The coefficients for the DBH and height growth modifiers are now settable in a calibration. The IsGeneticPlanted Calibration|Growth setting turns ORGANON's genetic responses on or off. The Calibration|Species|Growth GeneticDBH and GeneticHeight settings hold the coefficients for ORGANON's response function. ORGANON documentation states values between 0 and 20 are appropriate.
Total Height Growth Added
A total height growth equation has been added. Total height growth is a dynamic equation in that it estimates the change in total height rather than total height itself. Total height growth equations are found in many FVS models as well as the new Acadia model.
Largest Crown Width and Maximum Crown Width Added
Largest crown width and maximum crown width equations have been added to the Calibration Editor.
Diameter Inside Bark Equations
Diameter inside bark is now a formal equation. As a result the bark thickness ratio is now the "BTR" diameter inside bark model with setting "BTR=#". User defined and a power function are also available model for DIB.
Unit Level History
History is now recorded only on the stand or strata levels. History is meant to be actions that will be simulated or were carried out. Since currently simulation operates on a stand level in Assisi, history records at the unit level have no simulation purpose. Documents, notes and maps at the unit level do have a strong purpose and they remain of course.
Taxonomy Fields Added to Species
TaxaGenus and TaxaSpecies and TaxaCode were added to the Species table.
Climate Site Index Added to Stands
A climate site index field was added to the Stand table to support the new Acadia growth model.
Fixed an issue where ORGANON thinning was not being processed when thinning was scheduled in the first year of a run. Thinning was processed, but ORGANON internal response was not.
The IsMatchINP ORGANON growth model setting can be used to round tree values to the same number of decimals as is used in the ORGANON INP files. This can be useful when trying to match exactly DOS ORGANON results. However, Assisi was rounding tree values on each use of ORGANON rather than only once at the beginning of a run as is done in DOS ORGANON. Now, tree values are only rounded when IsMatchINP is true and a stand's first call to ORGANON is being made.
Drag and Drop to Desktop
Import and export from an Editor such as Field Data Editor was always possible using the Import and Export buttons on the editor. Now you can simply drag items to the desktop or any folder to create an XML file of data. Dropping the file on the same editor in another database will import the date.
Chart axis limits can now be set by right clicking on a chart to popup the Chart Options dialog.
ORGANON Model section updated with details on Assisi's implementation and how to use ORGANON.Add a thinning response example to the ORGANON Scenarios section.
Expansion processing has been added. Expansions are references to the current inventory of another stand. When an expansion is processed, the inventory from a source stand is copied to the stand with the expansion record. The expansion's stand will then have the same inventory as the source stand. Expansion is most often used in the context of a stratified inventory where stand inventories are generated from a stratified samples. Expansions also offer a quick way of copying an inventory estimate from one stand to another when a cruise for that stand is not available.
Import of expansion CSV files has been added to the Data Import tool.
Species Summary for Plots
A plot and species level summary table called SummaryByPlotSpecies was added to the database. This table is updated along with all the other inventory tables when data are compiled or expanded.
Plots and Plot Species Views Added to Unit
A view of the plot and species level inventory results was added at both the unit and stand levels in the Inventory Editor.
Data Tables Added to Stand Simulator
Tables to directly view growth results have been added to the Stand Simulator. Table for stands, species, individual trees and grade results are now available. Values include size and density measures as well as volume. Both harvested and standing are shown. Table data can be copied to Excel using cut and paste.
Added expansion to Data Importer and Field Data Editor sections.Added plot and species descriptions to Inventory Editor section.Updated Field Data Editor section.Update Stand chapter of Inventory Editor.
Defect is now summarized using gross to net volumes. Previously, the defect summary was the sum of entered tree and log level defects only. The effect of log deductions was only seen on the volume results not on the defect summary. Now defect for both tree and logs are calculated using volumes after tree, log and deduction defects have all been applied. If board volume is available it will be used first. If board is not available cubic volume is used. If neither board nor cubic is available, defect will be the entered defect if any.Note that actual net volume has always included tree, log and deduction defects. It is only the summarized defect value recorded for the trees and logs that has changed.
Added species groups to thinning rules. Species can be thinned as a group in the same way individual species are thinned.
Added an option to interpret HT_CODE=2 as a broken top height. In Assisi, a broken top has its total height estimated so the taper is available for volume. But only the volume to the broken height is tallied. When grown, a broken top tree has its DBH grown and total height is re-estimated. Since the broken top height does not grow, the effect is bigger diameters, but the same broken top height. If a broken top tree should not grow, its damage should be set to dead.HT_CODE=4 is now imported as merch height.
Thinning options have been organized using three new settings. The "Per Tree" method chooses trees individually for thinning rather than as a group as the "From Below", "Even" and From Above options currently do. The "Direction" setting determines whether thinning targets refer to trees to "Leave" or trees to "Remove". The "Terms" setting determines whether the target is a "Percent" of current values or is an "Amount". These settings clarify and expand the diameter based thinning options added earlier.
A plot showing the history of growth was added to the Growth tab in the stand simulator. Each line follows the growth of a tree through time. If a thinning occurs, it will be shown as a vertical decrease in BA. This new plot is particularly useful for viewing the effect of thinning options.
Export to FORSEE
Added and export of trees to FORSEE, a growth and yield program that incorporates the CRYPTOS and CACTOS growth models popular in the state of California.
Cruise Added to Stand Summary
Compiling now saves the name of the cruise being compiled to the stand summary results. Previously, only the year of the cruise was saved. This was generally sufficient, but more information can be had such as cruise design overrides if the actual cruise can be identified. When stands are grown, the original cruise name is not over written so it can still be identified after growth if needed.
ORGANON and Breast Height Age
A missing BH age will prevent ORGANON from processing, however it will no longer stop growth if a young growth model is being used. This is so that the young growth model can continue to grow a stand, update the BH age and let ORGANON take over when ORGANON's criteria is met. Previously, growing young stands would error as soon as one or more trees reached ORGANON's criteria, but the BH age for the stand is still null. Now, the stand will not error, continue to grow via the young model and be turned over to ORGANON when it reaches BH age.
Compile results had incorrect stump heights. Stump height was being subtracted twice when the Heights Relative to Stump option was being used. Internal calculations were not affected, only how the results were saved and shown in the Progress Viewer. For example, if stump height was set to .5 ft and Height Relative to Stump was checked (Calibration Editor), the results of compiling would be saved as with 1 ft stump not a .5 ft stump.
Stands can now be selected using the stands grid in the Inventory Editor. You can sort and filter stands on many fields and then select group of stands for processing as needed.
Grids on Forms
The number of decimals and alignment of columns on grid were standardized.
Sample Summary Report
Added a Sample Summary report. Sample Summary includes cruise design, sample counts and sample stats (SE & CV) by species for BA, TPA, volumes, carbon and user defined.
New Database Fields
Added saving of coefficient of variation to species and stand compilation summary stables.Added saving of RDI and SDI to species summary tables, including simulation summary tables.
Improvements to when saving of a prescription is required.
Add ability to stop long running reports.
Field Data Editor
Navigator is populated much faster for large numbers of stands.
Diameter Based Thinning
What was previously called "Selective Thin" is now diameter base thinning under the existing Thinning Rule. Diameter base thinning is expressed on a per species and diameter range using a user editable plot:
Scaling and Merch Height
Assisi has used a scaling height as the height to which a tree is segmented for a while now. If a scaling height is not available, the merch height would be used. If both a merch height and scaling height are available, merch height is only used as a taper point and the tree is still scaled to the scaling height. With this version, when both are available, a log break will occur at merch height and also at scaling height.For example: say scaling diameter is set at 5 inch. The scaling height will then be the height to a 5 inch diameter. If there is no merch entered, then merch height will equal scaling height and logs are segmented to that height. But, if merch height is entered, segmenting will first stop at merch and then continue to scaling height for any leftover lengths.
Updated Data Import and Data Export sections.
Remove Old Fields
Removed ModelRegion, ModelSpecies and ModelCode from CalibrationSpecies table. These fields were superseded by model level settings in a previous version and needed to be removed.
Added sections on: Plan Editor, Prescriptions Editor, Rules Editor and Stand Simulator, Flewelling Taper and ORGANON
A new field called BrokenHeight was added to the import tool so that broken heights can be directly imported to the Trees.BrokenHeight field.
Versioning Approach Changed
Assisi version numbers have been changed. New approach is Year.Release.Revision. This better matches the subscription licensing model now being used. As before, the database version is stored in the Configuration table. The value has changed however to reflect the new versioning approach. Now, the value follows the format: "Year.Release". Revision is omitted so that minor revisions (".Revision") can be installed without having to update the database version each time. Minor revisions may include database design changes however, so the need to check the database design using the Design Checker tool remains.
Market Report with No Acres
Market report was crashing when no acres are entered. Market report now works with or without acres. Note that not having acres means the report will not average across multiple stands.
Remove Old Fields
Log segmenting was assuming that when the top log is not called in the field, it would be less than the fixed length. In other words, if you did not measure the length of the log up to the merch diameter, then Assisi would calculate its length to be whatever is remaining: a length that could be greater than the fixed length setting. With this version, Assisi steps through the remaining length in steps of the fixed length values. For example a 38 foot length for the last log while using a 24 foot fixed log length will result in two logs: one 24 foot and the other 14 feet.
1997 to 2011
(Call for Details...)