iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


The effect of the calculation method, plot size, and stand density on the accuracy of top height estimation in Norway spruce stands

Wojciech Ochal   , Jaroslaw Socha, Marcin Pierzchalski

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 498-505 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2108-010
Published: Apr 12, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

The aim of this study was to evaluate top height (TH) estimates for Norway spruce stands calculated according to different computational methods, and to assess the effects of stand density and plot size on TH estimation accuracy. Field data were collected from twelve 1 ha research plots located in even-aged spruce stands. Conventional estimates were found to generally overstate TH. The accuracy of TH estimation was dependent on sample plot size. TH estimation error decreased rapidly with increasing sample plot area, but only up to a certain cut-off point. Errors in TH estimation were also related to local stand density, with low and very high density levels leading to decreased accuracy. The most reliable TH estimates were obtained using the U-estimator method, which is resistant to changes in sample plot size.


Forest Inventory, Site Index, Bias, Accuracy, Picea abies

Authors’ address

Wojciech Ochal
Jaroslaw Socha
Marcin Pierzchalski
Department of Biometry and Forest Productivity, University of Agriculture in Cracow, Al. 29-Listopada 46, 31-425 Cracow (Poland)

Corresponding author

Wojciech Ochal


Ochal W, Socha J, Pierzchalski M (2017). The effect of the calculation method, plot size, and stand density on the accuracy of top height estimation in Norway spruce stands. iForest 10: 498-505. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2108-010

Academic Editor

Davide Travaglini

Paper history

Received: May 09, 2016
Accepted: Jan 24, 2017

First online: Apr 12, 2017
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2017
Publication Time: 2.60 months

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