Research article

Sampling forest tree regeneration with a transect approach

D. Hessenmoeller , A.S. Elsenhans, E.D. Schulze

D. Hessenmoeller
Department of Matematics, University of Bayreuth, Universitatsstrasse 30, D-95447 Bayreuth, Germany. Email: hessenmoeller@gmail.com
A.S. Elsenhans
Department of Matematics, University of Bayreuth, Universitatsstrasse 30, D-95447 Bayreuth, Germany
E.D. Schulze
Max-Plank-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knoell-Strasse 10, D-07745 Jena, Germany

Online First: December 17, 2013
Hessenmoeller, D., Elsenhans, A., Schulze, E. 2013. Sampling forest tree regeneration with a transect approach. Annals of Forest Research 56(1): 3-14.


A new transect approach for sampling forest tree regeneration is developed with the aim to minimize the amount of field measurements, and to produce an accurate estimation of tree species composition and density independent of tree height. This approach is based on the probability proportional to size (PPS) theory to assess heterogeneous vegetation. This new method is compared with other approaches to assess forest regeneration based on simulated and measured, real data. The main result is that the transect approach requires about 50% of the time to assess stand density as compared to the plot approach, due to the fact that only 25% of the tree individuals are measured. In addition, tall members of the regeneration are counted with equal probability as small members. This is not the case in the plot approach. The evenness is 0.1 to 0.2 units larger in the transect by PPS than in the plot approach, which means that the plot approach shows a more homogenous regeneration layer than the PPS approach, even though the stand densities and height distributions are similar. The species diversity is variable in both approaches and needs further investigations.

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  • D. Hessenmoeller
  • A.S. Elsenhans
  • E.D. Schulze
  • D. Hessenmoeller
  • A.S. Elsenhans
  • E.D. Schulze