Correction for Slope in Point and Transect Relascope Sampling of Downed Coarse Woody Debris

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In this article, the effect of sloping terrain on estimates in point and transect relascope sampling (PRS and TRS, respectively) is studied. With these inventory methods, a wide angle relascope is used either from sample points (PRS) or along survey lines (TRS). Characteristics associated with line-shaped objects on the ground are assessed, e.g., the length or volume of downed logs. In their basic forms, the methods only work in flat terrain, and thus bias is incurred under sloping conditions.

Two different possibilities to correct for bias due to slope are presented. The first one involves using a slightly modified relascope device and making a measurement of the angle of inclination of each sampled object. The second involves applying correction factors based on the steepness of the terrain in the area surveyed. However, it is shown that moderate slopes cause only limited bias and in such cases there is little need to adjust the measurement procedures or apply correction factors. For. Sci. 48(1):85–92.

Keywords: Angle gauge sampling; Bitterlich sampling; bias; correction factor; environmental management; forest; forest inventory; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; line intercept sampling; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Professor Department of Forest Resource Management and Geomatics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden, 2: Assistant Professor of Forest Inventory Department of Forest Resource Management and Geomatics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden, 3: Research Forester Northeastern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, P.O. Box 640 Durham, NH, 03824, 4: Assistant Professor of Forest Biometrics Department of Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, 03824,

Publication date: February 1, 2002

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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.
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