Determining adequate permanent plot size in an Indiana forest fragment

John Taylor
Ball State University
John Taylor is the Land Manager for the Field Station and Environmental Education Center at Ball State University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Botany and Master’s degree in Plant Ecology, both from Ball State. John’s primary research interest is in forest ecology.
Other presenters/researchers: 
Kemuel Badger, Ahmed Hubini, Donald Ruch, Megan Smith

Permanent forest monitoring plots were established in 2015 in the Skinner Woods, a part of a 10 hectare wooded area owned by Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. A full inventory of overstory trees (≥20cm DBH) was made, and trees were measured relative to each of 24 plot center locations. ArcGIS was used to map the trees, and then to create various sub-samples based on plot size (i.e. 5m, 10m and 15m radius circular plots). Stand tables were generated to quantitatively describe the forest for the full inventory and for the various sub-samples. Results illustrate the effect of sample size and plot distribution on quantitative characterization of forests, and can be used as a way to determine adequate sample size in a similar forested area.

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