, Volume 184, Issue 4, pp 2465-2474
Date: 29 Jun 2011

Inventory methods for trees in nonforest areas in the great plains states

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The US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program collects information on trees in areas that meet its definition of forest. However, the inventory excludes trees in areas that do not meet this definition, such as those found in urban areas, in isolated patches, in areas with sparse or predominantly herbaceous vegetation, in narrow strips (e.g., shelterbelts), or in riparian areas. In the Great Plains States, little is known about the tree resource in these noninventoried, nonforest areas, and there is a great deal of concern about the potential impact of invasive pests, such as the emerald ash borer. To address this knowledge gap, FIA’s National Inventory and Monitoring Applications Center has partnered with state cooperators and others in a project called the Great Plains Initiative to design and implement an inventory of trees in nonforest areas. The goal of the inventory is to characterize the nonforest tree resource using methods compatible with those of FIA so a holistic understanding of the resource can be obtained by integrating the two surveys. The goal of this paper is to describe the process of designing and implementing the survey, including plot and sample design, and to present some example results from a reporting tool we developed.