Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
The purpose of this paper is to review tests made on the basis of Finnish material with regard to the efficiency of the 10-point cluster in sampling a stand in forest inventory. Currently, this system is applied in field work in the national forest surveys in the United States of America. The paper reports on tests, made on the basis of Finnish material, for comparison of the 10-point cluster of variable plots with 13 other designs in sampling a stand in forest survey. The research material consists of 12 stands, with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) as the main species.
The main results are concerned with the ability of different designs to provide gross volume estimates. As a measure of efficiency, three alternative series of variances were used, adjusted by three alternatives of time. The results are applicable, for instance, in double-sampling with photo and field classifications. In the comparisons, no attention was paid to the possibility of systematic errors in various designs.
For inventory volume, the 10-point cluster proved to be about 10 per cent less efficient than the best design of each alternative. The use of a single circular plot of 1,000 m2 can be recommended under the conditions of this test; furthermore, one or two 500 m2 plots were more efficient than any combination of variable plots.
The reason for the use of the 10-point cluster in forest surveying has been the ability of the design to provide simultaneous information on area condition classes. Among the designs tested, the 10-point cluster seems to be the only one capable of application in the estimation of condition classes.
Most of the information obtained by means of the 10-point cluster can be gained through ocular estimation, and from the sample trees to be measured in any design, but a cluster of several points appears to offer good means of estimation, for instance, of the presence of clumps and gasps in a stand.