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Point Sampling with Disjunct Support Near Population Boundaries

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In inventories that guide land management, point sampling is heavily used to estimate land area occupied by a population, area by condition class, population mean density, and totals of population attributes. Often, for reasons of efficiency or interpretation, the attributes of the principal sample point are described by aggregating information over a group of satellite points arrayed in a geometric pattern around the principal point. This group of data sampling points forms what is called the "support" for the principal point. Problems arise when the principal point is close enough to a population (or subpopulation) boundary for some of the support points to fall outside that boundary. Ad hoc solutions to this problem that involve replacing some or all of the points in the group may introduce bias into the inventory estimates. Unfortunately, procedures that do not replace points introduce bias into estimates of attributes that can be defined only with respect to the configuration and volume of the support. Examples of such attributes include distribution of area by classes of tree density, stocking, species composition, stand structure, and the ecological frequency and constancy of a species. A rule has been developed for reshaping the pattern of support points that resolves the dilemma for single, straight boundaries. Simulations to evaluate the rule show that it produces a uniform density of points with respect to distance from the boundary while maintaining a compact region of support for the principal point. For. Sci. Monogr. 31:62-82.
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Keywords: Edge effect bias; point substitution

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Retired Forester, Intermountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service

Publication date: 1995-08-01

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  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
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