Skip to Main Content
Comparison of combinations of sighting devices and target objects for establishing circular plots in the fieldAuthor(s): Sylvio Mannel; Mark A. Rumble; Maribeth Price; Thomas M. Juntti; Dong Hua
Source: Res. Pap. RMRS-RP-60. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 5 p.
Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
View PDF (650 B)
DescriptionMany aspects of ecological research require measurement of characteristics within plots. Often, the time spent establishing plots is small relative to the time spent collecting and recording data. However, some studies require larger numbers of plots, where the time spent establishing the plot is consequential to the field effort. In open habitats, circular plots are easily established using a rope or tape. In tall or dense vegetation, however, considerable time can be spent ensuring that measures of plot radii are straight-line measurements. To rapidly establish fixed-radius plots in the field, common forest survey techniques can be used with a target object calibrated to the desired size of the plot. Although mentioned in past publications, the accuracy of establishing plots with these methods has not been evaluated. We tested the accuracy and precision in establishing fixed-radius plots using different sighting device/target object combinations. A laser rangefinder aimed at 10.2-cm PVC pipe was most accurate and precise, but expensive, and required careful handling. Wedge prisms used with a 10.2-cm PVC pipe or cylinder were accurate, precise, inexpensive, and easy to use.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationMannel, Sylvio; Rumble, Mark A.; Price, Maribeth; Juntti, Thomas M.; Hua, Dong. 2006. Comparison of combinations of sighting devices and target objects for establishing circular plots in the field. Res. Pap. RMRS-RP-60. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 5 p.
Keywordssighting devices, target objects, circular plots, plot radii, fixed-radius plots
- Methods for measuring populations of small, diurnal forest birds.
- Monitoring stand structure in mature coastal Douglas-fir forests: effect of plot size.
- Analysis of area level and unit level models for small area estimation in forest inventories assisted with LiDAR auxiliary information
XML: View XML