Basal Area Factor in Variable Radius Sampling Effects on Stand Level Measurements
Author: Carlton Scott
Graduation Year: 2020
Thesis Advisor: Aaron Weiskittel
Description of Publication: The purpose of this thesis is to explore the basal area factor (BAF) of a variable radius plot and its effects stand level measurements. This type of forest inventory is used widely across Maine. These inventory methods can have effects on how a forest is portrayed numerically, which in turn effects the management prescriptions and decisions. The objective of this study was to compare the tradeoffs between inventories using a 10, 20, and 30 BAF prism and examine how these different methods effect different parts of an inventory. This includes analyzing how the inventory may vary in terms of volume, basal area, trees per acre, and species representation. Additionally, the efficiency and standard error differences between BAFs was analyzed. Future projections made using FVSonline were also compared. Data collection was done on Nickerson Tree Farm in Greenville, Maine. Between the 3 BAFs used as well as the stand types, a two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was ran to test of statistical significance using a .95 confidence interval. This ANOVA suggested no statistical significance for any of the variables, except stand type and trees per acre. There were also measurable tradeoffs between the different BAFs that were used, which suggests practical significance outside where the ANOVA was applied. This includes the fact that smaller BAFs tend to favor smaller standard error across all measurements, as well as more diverse species distribution. Additionally, there are many different benefits to larger BAFs, including speed and getting a quick look at low quality stands that are not favorable for management.
Location of Publication:
URL to Thesis: https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/626/