Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Dodson

Commitee Members

Andrew Larson, Kevin McManigal


distance methods, aspen, regeneration monitoring, methods comparison


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Forest Management


A variety of alternative sampling methods, commonly known as “Distance Methods”, were tested to determine if they could be a better choice for monitoring Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) regeneration following aspen restoration treatments. These methods were evaluated based on their ability to accurately and efficiently estimate three common aspen stand characteristics used to gauge aspen restoration treatment effectiveness: aspen regeneration density, browse pressure, and height class distribution. Distance Method accuracy and efficiency were compared to a standard fixed-radius plot sampling method in four treated aspen stands in western Wyoming. None of the Distance Methods fulfilled all of the requirements, which were to accurately estimate all of the above stand characteristics more efficiently than fixed-radius plots. However, two Distance Methods were found to accurately estimate aspen regeneration density and browse pressure more efficiently than fixed-radius plots in all four sampled stands: one variation of Corrected Point Distance (Batcheler, 1973) and one variation of Angle Order (Morisita, 1957). The results suggest that these two Distance Methods would require less sampling time than the standard fixed-radius plots sampling method to accurately estimate many of the same stand characteristics and therefore they may be a better choice for monitoring aspen regeneration. To strengthen these conclusions, these two Distance Methods should be tested further in additional field trials.



© Copyright 2014 Michael Fowler