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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Sampling Protocol for Measuring Mean Diameter at Breast Height of Forked Urban Trees

Bilous, Andrii; Zadorozhniuk, Roman; Makarevych, Anatolii; Svynchuk, Viktor; Lashko, Andrii; Bilous, Maksym; Myroniuk, Viktor; Matsala, Maksym

Abstract

The sustainable management of urban green areas requires clear and efficient protocols for measuring the biometric properties of tree vegetation. Specifically, operational in situ sampling solutions are essential to inventory forked (multi-stemmed) trees. This study aimed to assess the efficiency of two different sampling protocols for mean tree diameter at breast height (DBH) measurement of forked urban trees. The protocols were tested on a dataset of 76 forked trees, each having more than three stems and sampled in urban areas of Kyiv, Ukraine. First, we tested the efficiency of mean tree DBH estimations using measurements of randomly selected one, two, or three stems (random sampling, or RSM). Second, we examined different combinations of the thinnest, thickest, and average stems (identified visually) for each tree to estimate mean tree DBH (targeted sampling, or TSM). The distributions of mean tree DBH and root mean square errors (RMSE) were utilized to compare the utility of the two approaches. The TSM of three stems (the thinnest, thickest, and average) provided the highest accuracy of mean tree DBH estimation (RMSE% = 6.3% of the mean), compared to the RSM (RMSE% = 12.1%). The TSM of the four thickest stems demonstrated the overestimation of mean tree DBH for forked trees with five or more stems. Accurate mean tree DBH estimates can be derived with negligible systematic errors applying the RSM over a large number of measured trees. However, these estimates will not likely match the measurements from previous inventories due to random stem selection. We recommend using the TSM with measuring three specific stems as a balanced solution in terms of estimation accuracy, bias, and time costs.

Keywords

urban trees; DBH; tree inventory; targeted sampling; random sampling; multi-stemmed trees

Published in

Forests
2024, Volume: 15, number: 3, article number: 458Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/f15030458

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/129285