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Differences in forest area classification based on tree tally from variable- and fixed-radius plots

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In forest inventory, it is not enough to formulate a definition; it is also necessary to define the “measurement procedure.” In the classification of forestland by dominant cover type, the measurement design (the plot) can affect the outcome of the classification. We present results of a simulation study comparing classification of the dominant cover type between fixed- and variable-radius plot designs. We also show the effect of species distribution and partially sampled plots on these classifications. Plot type, area sampled, and the way in which the species are distributed influence the outcome of the classification. Thus, estimated changes in forest area may be an artifact of plot design changes, rather than actual population change.

En inventaire forestier, il ne suffit pas de formuler une définition; il faut également définir la procédure de mesure. Dans la classification des forêts par type de couvert dominant, le dispositif de mesure (la placette) peut influencer le résultat de la classification. Nous présentons les résultats d’une étude de simulation qui compare la classification du type de couvert dominant selon qu’on utilise des placettes à rayon fixe ou à rayon variable. Nous montrons aussi l’effet de la répartition des espèces et celui des placettes partiellement échantillonnées sur ces classifications. Le type de placette, la zone échantillonnée et la façon dont les espèces sont réparties influencent le résultat de la classification. Ainsi, les changements estimés dans la zone forestière peuvent être un artéfact causé par des changements dans le dispositif de placettes, plutôt qu’un changement réel de la population.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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