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A Comparison of Periodic and Annual Forest Surveys

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Forest surveys of large areas often are conducted on a periodic basis, every 10 yr, for example. However, periodic assessments can be problematic due to fluctuating budgets and survey results that do not reflect forest dynamics between measurements. As a result, many countries are interested in designing surveys with annual measurements, such as the U.S. Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program design. The existing periodic design for Switzerland was compared with four annual designs in which an equal number of plots are observed annually. Data for the comparisons were collected annually on 682 plots over 7 successive yr across Switzerland. Three estimation methods were applied to each design: Continuous Forest Inventory, Sampling with Partial Replacement, and Mixed Estimator. These used simple means, regression updating, and inverse weighting of new and old plots, and regression combined with growth-model projections, respectively. For 12 combinations of 3 attributes, the Regional Survey design was the most cost-effective, followed by the National or Regional Update Survey designs. The Periodic Survey and the National Survey (similar to the FHM design) were the least cost-effective. Sampling with Partial Replacement was the most efficient estimator, though the Mixed Estimator would have been the most efficient had less biased growth projection models been used. For. Sci. 45(3):433-451.

Keywords: Continuous forest inventory; change estimation; forest monitoring; mixed estimator; sampling with partial replacement

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Project Manager, GmbH, Ludwig-Erhardt-Strasse 8, 34131 Kassel, Germany--Phone: +49-561-938690

Publication date: August 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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