- Scott, Carlton
University of Maine
The purpose of this thesis is to explore the use of Basal area factor (BAF) of a variable radius plot effects stand level measurements. This type of forest inventory is common and used widely across Maine. These inventory methods can have effects on how a forest is portrayed numerically, which in turn effects the management prescriptions and decisions. The objective of this study was to compare the tradeoffs between inventories using a 10, 20, and 30 BAF prism and looks into how these different methods effect the measurements efficiency, accuracy, and biases with regards to volume, basal area, trees per acre, species count, and future projections. This was done on Nickerson Tree Farm in Greenville, Maine. Between the 3 separate inventories collected, the 10, 20, and 30 BAFs as well as the stand types, a two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was ran considering all the possibilities. This ANOVA suggested no statistical significance for any of the variable, except stand type and trees pe acre. There were also measurable tradeoffs between the different BAFs that were used, which is also important to consider. This includes the fact that smaller BAFs tend to favor smaller standard error across all measurements, as well as more diverse species distribution. Additionally, there are many different benefits to larger BAFs, including speed and getting a quick look at low quality stands that are not favorable for management.