Ocular estimates of understory vegetation structure in a closed Picea glauca/Betula papyrifera forest


  • Nomenclature: Hultén (1974) for forbs and grasses, Viereck & Little (1972) for trees and shrubs, and Anon. (1998) for cryptogams.


Abstract. Horizontal/vertical profiling is a method used to assess vegetation space occupancy. This study investigated consistency and repeatability of measurements made on plots designed to describe forest understory vegetation structure. 20 circular, 100-m2 plots were measured by six independent observers, three times during the summer of 1997. The plots, located in south-central Alaska, were established in a closed Picea glauca (white spruce)/Betula papyrifera (paper birch) forest. Consistency and repeatability of measurements were evaluated by examining components of variance. Response variables were absolute and relative canopy cover. Results indicate that observers were not consistent relative to each other estimating vegetative cover from one plot to the next and from one measurement period to the next, making measurements unrepeatable.