Field efficiency and bias of snag inventory methods.



Snags and cavity trees are important components of forests, but can be difficult to inventory precisely and are not always included in inventories because of limited resources. We tested the application of N-tree distance sampling as a time-saving snag sampling method and compared N-tree distance sampling to fixed-area sampling and modified horizontal line sampling in mixed pine-hardwood forests of southern Maine and New Hampshire. We also present a novel modification of N-tree distance sampling that limits the distance from plot center that an observer must search to find tally trees. A field test shows N-tree to be quick, but generally biased and characterized by high variability. Distance-limited N-tree sampling mitigates these problems, but not completely. We give recommendations for operational snag inventory in similar forest types.

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Canadian Journal of Forest Research


NRC Press

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© 2005 NRC.