The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the stand structure class definitions developed for use by Lignum Ltd. (Moss, 2003; Farnden et. al. 2003) in the Cariboo Region of British Columbia would add any new information when compared with more traditional cruise stratum definitions (e.g. PL 831-16). Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Prince George) provided cruise data consisting of 25462 plots with 1799 distinct types and 694 different strata. It was concluded that while the original 17 stand structure classes do bare significant differences within the various cruise-strata, there is potential to gain further precision with fewer strata and more classes; this can be achieved by developing a new classification that minimizes within group variation with respect to the joint distributions of tree species and sizes (diameter). It has been estimated elsewhere that approximately 200 classes would be required to do this effectively. It is recommended that the new classification be developed (step 2). There is some (small) risk that the process used to develop the original classification will not function in the same way after species differences are incorporated into it, and therefore that the proposed project might fail to produce the desired outcomes. The ultimate goal of this work is to enhance inventories (step 3) with more details about the distributions of trees with respect to the occurrences of species and tree sizes. There is an increased risk that as a result of pursuing step 2, certain types will be found in the inventory for which there is no corresponding structure class, because to date no cruise plots have been established in stands with anything that is even close to having those characteristics. However, such information might be useful for knowing where to concentrate more ground sampling effort. If on the other hand, step 2 is not successful, then step 3 can still be completed using the original stand structure classification as the first order of distinguishing differences amongst polygons, and then using traditional strata definitions as second order of discrimination to obtain a higher level of precision. So regardless of whether or not step 2 succeeds, step 3 can be achieved to some level of satisfaction and reliability.
Harmeny Systems Ltd., ForesTree Dynamics Ltd.. 2004. Stand Structure Classification: Characterization of Cruise Types Using 17 Classes. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR081
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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