Estimation of strata areas in forest survey
Highest degree of precision in determining the areas of different strata in forest survey is achieved when the areas are measured from a map. However, in practice the stratum-areas usually need to be determined on the basis of samples taken in the field or from aerial photographs. The goal of the present investigation was to determine the precision in stratum-area estimation on the application of different sampling methods.
Three sampling methods were used: 1. sampling with random plots, 2. uniform systematic plot sampling, and 3. sampling with equidistant lines.
The dependence of the standard error of stratum-areas in systematic line and plot sampling was examined by regression analysis. The models for regression equations were derived from random sampling formulae. It appears that the characteristics of these formulae were applicable as variables in the regression equations for systematic samples. Also, some characteristics of the distribution of the stratum was found, which seem to influence the error in sampling with equidistant lines.
The results as regards uniform systematic plot sampling indicate that the use of random sampling formulae leads to considerable over-estimation of the standard error. Nonetheless, unless relatively short intervals between sample plots are used in the forest survey made on the ground, it is of advantage to study the division of the area into strata by measuring the distribution of the survey lines in these strata.
The results can be used in two ways: for estimation of the precision in a survey already made, or to predetermine the sample size in a survey to be made. The results may be applicable to areas ranging from 100 to 1,000 ha in size, as well as to larger areas.
Published in 1966