What is in the forest now?

Quantifying the current forest
Forest Measurement and Modelling.

There are many things that can be measured or quantified in a forest. Which ones you choose to measure will depend on the reason that you are measuring and the amount of time and other resources available.

There are also many reasons that forests are measured:
  • Measure the quantity (and quality) of tree boles to determine how much sawlog or pulpwood could be harvested under specific circumstances.
  • Measure the amount of woody biomass to determine how much bio-fuel could be harvested.
  • Measure the amount of leaf area to determine how much atmospheric pollution can be intercepted and removed by living trees.
  • Measure the variability of tree species, sizes and ages to determine the biodiversity and stability of the forest.
  • Measure the amount of damage caused by fire, insect or disease to assist in determining if remedial treatment is necessary.

You may interested in finding out:
  • The total size of a population
  • The average size of an individual (mean, mode or median)
  • The expected maximum or minimum size of a population or individual
  • Whether a minimum or maximum amount has been exceeded

Photo of stand measurement Because trees dominate forests (see the definition of a forest), measurements of a forest must include measurements of trees. Measurements may be made on:
Often stand and forest measurements are summaries of specific measurements taken on selected individual trees. The selection of which measurements and individuals to choose is a fundamental part of forest mensuration.

The selection of appropriate measurement equipment is also very important. However the cost of the equipment is only one component of the overall measurement cost and should not be allowed to dominate your measurement exercise.

[whatnow.htm] Revision: 6/1999