Impact of training on different observers in forest inventory
Observers with different experience levels are involved in the measurement of large number of sample plots during forest inventories, particularly in national forest inventories. However, limited information exist on the quality of data produced by different observers in forest inventory after certain levels of training. This study tries to evaluate the measurement error in forest inventory associated with observers' experience after initial and field-based training for measuring the most fundamental variables- DBH (cm), total tree height (m), and horizontal distance (m) together with bearing (azimuth) to tree from the plot-centre. On completing the second level of training, the mean of the differences in DBH measurement decreased for both the ‘experienced’ and ‘inexperienced’ groups. The mean of the differences in height measurement in the case of the experienced observers was very low as compared to the inexperienced ones. However, the mean of the differences in azimuth measurement showed that the experienced groups were overestimating by at least 1 degree. There was no trend in deviation of measurement for all four variables regardless of tree size. The decrease in the mean and error of differences in measurements after second training showed that field-based training with supervision and training on the use of instruments at laboratories were required for inexperienced surveyors whereas update in working and measurement procedure would be sufficient for the experienced ones.
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