Spatial variability and estimation of tree attributes in a plantation forest in the Caspian region of Iran using geostatistical analysis

Author

R. Akhavan *1, Gh. Zahedi Amiri 2, M. Zobeiri 2 1- Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, P.O. Box, 13185-116, Tehran, Iran. 2- Department of Forestry, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, P.O. Box, 31585-4314, Karaj, Iran. * Corresponding author?s E-mail: akhavan@rifr-ac.ir

Abstract

This research was conducted to investigate spatial variability and estimate tree attributes in a plantation forest in the Caspian region of Iran using geostatistical analysis. Sampling was performed based on a 50m?125m systematic grid in a maple stand (Acer velutinum Boiss) 18 years of age using circular samples of 200m2 area. Totally, 96 sample plots were measured in 63 hectares and 14.25 hectare was inventoried as full census area. Experimental variograms for forest stem basal area, stem density and tree height attributes were calculated and plotted using the geo-referenced inventory plots. The calculated variograms of basal area and height showed a high spatial auto-correlation, which is fitted by spherical model. However, stem density showed a large nugget effect. Estimations for basal area and height interpolated by ordinary block kriging and cross validation results showed that all the estimations were accurate. Furthermore, the estimated kriged mean of basal area showed no significant difference to the real mean in the full census area. Therefore, geostatistical analysis is able to capture and explain the spatial variability as well as estimate tree attributes (not stem density) in this kind of plantation forest, accurately.

Keywords