Point Sampling with Disjunct Support Near Population Boundaries
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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Document Type: Journal Article
Affiliations: Retired Forester, Intermountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service
Publication date: 1995-08-01
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