Point-Sampling of Tree Crowns Using Aerial Photographs for Forest Inventory

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Aerial-photo angle-gauges were designed and constructed for developing a procedure for using variable-radius plot sampling for forest inventory of natural stands in Hardin and Wayne Counties, Tennessee. Data were obtained during the 1989 USDA Southern Forest Experiment Station survey of the forests of Tennessee, with supplemental aerial photographic measurements. Photo-based cruises of the two counties were made on 9 x 9 in. color aerial photographs (with a nominal scale of 1:4,800) taken during the fall color season. Photo cruises were compared to traditional ground-based cruises, and great differences were observed in number of trees, basal area, and merchantable volume. Evaluation of empirical diameter distributions revealed that the photo-based inventory failed to tally many of the smaller diameter trees. The development of the angle-gauge is theoretically sound, but results from its use are questionable due to differences with corresponding ground-based inventories. South. J. Appl. For. 21(1):28-36.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station, St. Paul, MN 55108

Publication date: February 1, 1997

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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