An Improved Estimator for Merchantable Basal Area Growth Based on Point Samples

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The computation scheme for merchantable growth based on remeasured point samples (prism plots) is presented. Emphasis is placed on defining the population attributes which are to be estimated. Two different unbiased estimators of gross merchantable growth including ingrowth are considered: the compatible estimator, and the noncompatible. The former is based on ingrowth and ongrowth sample trees, while the latter is based on ingrowth and survivor sample trees. An estimator is proposed which is a weighted sum of the two currently used estimators. The selection of the most suitable estimator is considered for both random sampling, and cluster or satellite sampling. The weighted estimator is unbiased and in most situations can be expected to have a lower variance than either of the estimators it replaces. In a numerical example from the Southern Forest Experimental Station Renewable Resources Evaluation survey, the weighted estimator is found to be effective. Applied to a seven-point cluster, it has approximately the same variance as would otherwise be achieved using a ten-point cluster. Forest Sci. 30:813-821.

Keywords: Random sampling; cluster sampling

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester, Southern Forest Experiment Station, P.O. Box 906, Starkville, MS 39759

Publication date: September 1, 1984

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