Natural Resources Research

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 297–309 | Cite as

The Precision of C Stock Estimation in the Ludhikola Watershed Using Model-Based and Design-Based Approaches

  • T. S. ChinembiriEmail author
  • M. C. Bronsveld
  • D. G. Rossiter
  • T. Dube


In this study, two sampling protocols using a model-based and a design-based framework were juxtaposed to evaluate their precision in the estimation of C stock in the Ludikhola watershed, Nepal. The model-based approach exploits the spatial dependencies in the sampled variable and may therefore be attractive over the design-based approach as it reduces the substantial costs of survey and effort required in the latter. Scales of spatial variability for C stock which resulted in a grid resolution of 10,000 m2 were determined using a reconnaissance variogram. Akaike information criterion was used for the selection of the best linear model of feature space for use in kriging with external drift (KED). Among the five tested covariates, distance, elevation, and aspect were statistically significant, with the best model of feature space accounting for 87.7% variability of C stock. An ANOVA established significance differences in mean C stocks (P = 0.00017). KED using the best model of feature space was found to be more precise, (9.89 ± 0.17) sqrt mg C/ha, than a pure-based approach of ordinary kriging and the design-based approach, (9.91 ± 0.8) sqrt mg C/ha. The confidence bounds of the two estimators showed that their confidence intervals will overlap 99.7% of the time, with both confidence intervals falling within the 95% confidence bounds of each other. There is less uncertainty around the mean C stock estimated using the model-based approach than the mean C stock estimated using the design-based approach. The model-based approach is a prospective option for the REDD framework.


Geostatistics kriging with external drift design-based AIC ANOVA REDD 



The authors wish to thank the Dutch Government (NUFFIC), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bio-resources (ANSAB), and the Federation of CF Users Nepal (FECOFUN) for funding this research and the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente for providing a conducive research environment. We thank two anonymous journal reviewers who have helped to improve this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geosciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. S. Chinembiri
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. C. Bronsveld
    • 2
  • D. G. Rossiter
    • 3
  • T. Dube
    • 4
  1. 1.Ministry of Lands and Rural ResettlementHarareZimbabwe
  2. 2.Department of Natural Resources ManagementITC Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth ObservationEnschedeThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Applied Earth SciencesITC Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth ObservationEnschedeThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Geography and Environmental ScienceUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe

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