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Contribution to the study of sampling methods in deciduous forests


, : Contribution to the study of sampling methods in deciduous forests. Annales des Sciences Forestieres (Paris) 34(1): 59-76

Using an extensive source of information (complete and detailed results from 2 successive inventories) on an important stock of trees (important for its position, vastness and rate of growth), the precision obtained by systematic and random sampling from 2 kinds of deciduous forests situated in the Ardennes were studied by computer simulation methods. Various sizes of plots were tested and the sampling intensity was varied in order to examine the sensitivity of the observed volumes, basal areas and number of trees and their increments. For random sampling the shape of the plot appeared to be only of secondary importance and plots of different shapes but equal area yielded almost identical precisions. The results also showed the primary importance of the sampling intensity. For different variables the minimal area recorded for attaining the critical lower bound for the precision was given. In most cases (coefficient of variation of 5) the need was of a minimal area of 10 ha when using static sampling and dynamic sampling (permanent plots and a 10 yr period for the basal area and the volume and a minimal area of 500 ha for dynamic sampling from temporary plots (10 yr period for the basal area and the volume increments. The precisions of the results obtained from random sampling and the more widely used systematic sampling yielded results of comparable precision. Systematic sampling was the more precise method.

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