Vegetation Inventory Data: How Much is Enough?
Recognition of the value of forest vegetation data has increased in recent years, especially when it is collected using consistent methods over many forest types. Because the cost of collecting large datasets is substantial, managers must balance the cost of collection with the utility of the conclusions that may be drawn from the data analyses. There is no single standard for collecting vegetation data; sampling protocols should be developed to address clearly defined analysis objectives. We compare the utility of the established Phase 3 Vegetation Diversity and Structure Indicator data with the proposed vegetation data to be collected with the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program's Phase 2 Vegetation Profile.