Publication Details

Improving coarse woody debris measurements: a taper-based technique

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Year Published

2007

Publication

In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; McWilliams, William H., eds. Proceedings of the seventh annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; October 3-6, 2005; Portland, ME. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-77. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 231-235.

Abstract

Coarse woody debris (CWD) are dead and down trees of a certain minimum size that are an important forest ecosystem component (e.g., wildlife habitat, carbon stocks, and fuels). Accurately measuring the dimensions of CWD is important for ensuring the quality of CWD estimates and hence for accurately assessing forest ecosystem attributes. To improve the quality of CWD diameter and length measurements, two quality control methods were used to estimate field-applicable taper thresholds to reduce measurement errors. Results indicated that both the taper outlier and taper model methods may be used to set thresholds for detection of egregious CWD dimension measurement errors. The taper outlier method determines the thresholds using three times the interquartile range of taper and a new metric of relative size. The taper model approach predicts large-end diameter based on small-end diameter and length. Both methods may be broadly applied to CWD pieces, regardless of decay, size, and species. Overall, incorporation of CWD taper attributes into field data recorders may allow "on the fly" assessment of possible measurement errors in the field.

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Citation

Woodall, Christopher W.; Westfall, James A. 2007. Improving coarse woody debris measurements: a taper-based technique. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; McWilliams, William H., eds. Proceedings of the seventh annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; October 3-6, 2005; Portland, ME. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-77. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 231-235.

Last updated on: June 30, 2009