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GEOSTATS: variogram modeling of tree stem size and area?

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  • alister@mail.vt.edu
    Dear group, I have mapped the x,y coordinate and stem location of each tree on a 50m x 50m plot, and measured its diameter. There are a total of ~1000 stems
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 20, 1998
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      Dear group,

      I have mapped the x,y coordinate and stem location of each tree on a 50m x
      50m plot, and measured its diameter. There are a total of ~1000 stems of
      all different sizes and 7 different species. Different species occur in
      clumps, while others are randomly distributed across the plot. One species
      in particular makes up ~80% of the density and cross sectional stem area.
      I would like to use variogram analysis to describe the spatial patterns of
      stem size and stem occurrence, i.e. what is the range of autocorrelation of
      size and stem presence on this plot.

      Approaches which occur to me:
      1. to address the occurence issue, assign each stem a "1", and randomly
      choose an equal number of non stem points and assign them "0", and do an
      indicator variogram-type analysis. Isn't this measuring the spatial
      dependence of "stem presence"? A problem I forsee is that the nugget gets
      artificially lowered if the stems are not evenly distributed throughtout
      the plot--many (0-0)^2 's. Would this, however, alter the range of
      autocorrelation, my goal?

      2. to address the size class issue: just use the x,y coordinates of each
      tree, and assign stem area to the z value. I suppose I am really answering
      the question "are trees that are growing close together more similar to one
      another than one would expect by chance *where trees are growing*(not "in
      general on the plot")?"

      3. divide the plot up into grid cells, or randomly overlay subplots onto my
      big plot, and calculate stem density and total stem xc area within each
      plot, giving the x,y coordinates the center of each subplot
      This seems problematic too, although I read a paper where they did
      something like this.

      *I actually did numbers 1 and 2 and obtained variograms with beautiful
      forms, but feel a tad uncomfortable with what I've done (nagging guilt
      about being a simpleton).

      Does anybody have any opinions/other suggestions on how to attack this
      problem? Thanks!

      Andrew Lister
      alister@...

      P.S. I have all of my data entered into ArcView and Arc Info...

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