Skip to Main Content
Perpendicular distance sampling: an alternative method for sampling downed coarse woody debrisAuthor(s): Michael S. Williams; Jeffrey H. Gove
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 33: 1564-1579
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
Station: Northeastern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (2.5 MB)
DescriptionCoarse woody debris (CWD) plays an important role in many forest ecosystem processes. In recent years, a number of new methods have been proposed to sample CWD. These methods select individual logs into the sample using some form of unequal probability sampling. One concern with most of these methods is the difficulty in estimating the volume of each log. A new method of sampling CWD that addresses this issue is proposed. This method samples each log with probability proportional to the volume of each piece of CWD. While this method generally has a smaller variance than the existing methods, the primary advantage is that a design-unbiased estimator of CWD volume is achieved without ever actually measuring the volume of any logs. This method, referred to as perpendicular distance sampling (PDS), is compared with three existing sampling techniques for CWD using a simulation study on a series of artificial populations. In every case, the variance of the PDS estimator of CWD volume was smaller than the variance of the competing methods, but the difference in the variance was not large between PDS and two of the competing methods. When estimating the number of pieces of CWD, the variance of the PDS estimator was one of the largest amongst the tested methods. An equally important result is that the variant of line intersect sampling used in this study, where the orientation of the line is the same at all sample points, performed poorly in every situation. This and other problems suggest that the suitability of this sampling technique for estimating CWD is questionable.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- 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.
CitationWilliams Michael S.; Gove, Jeffrey H. 2003. Perpendicular distance sampling: an alternative method for sampling downed coarse woody debris. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 33: 1564-1579
- Distance-limited perpendicular distance sampling for coarse woody debris: theory and field results
- A comprehensive comparison of perpendicular distance sampling methods for sampling downed coarse woody debris
- Estimating the carbon in coarse woody debris with perpendicular distance sampling. Chapter 6
XML: View XML