Blog Post 4:: Sampling Theory Using Virtual Forests Tutorial

Site: Snyder-Middleswarth Natural Area

Time Commitment:

1) Systematic (distance-based): 4 hours 7 minutes

2) Random (distance-based): 4 hours 46 minutes

3) Haphazard (distance-based): 4 hours 40 minutes

The most efficient sampling technique was the systematic sampling as it took only 4 hours 7 minutes; where as the random and haphazard sampling techniques took 4 hours 46 minutes and 4 hours 40 minutes respectively. For common species of trees (Eastern Hemlock & Sweet Birch), systematic sampling was the best sampling technique as it had the least percentage of error. On the other hand, for rare species (Striped Maple & White Pine), there was no particular sampling technique that worked best, although random sampling technique appeared to have the least percentage error (on average) for rare species. Further, with regard to rare species, accuracy did appear to vary among the three sampling methods (on average): random sampling had the least percent error, followed by haphazard sampling, and then by systematic sampling. Compared to common species, accuracy was correlated to the number of trees (abundance of trees) present. The number of points used – 24 – was sufficient; however, greater number of points could have been used for more accurate results.

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