Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (848 KB)

Title: Evaluation of the reference unit method for herbaceous biomass estimation in native grasslands of southwestern South Dakota

Author: Boyda, Eric D.;

Date: 2013

Source: Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University. Thesis. 102 p.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The high costs associated with physically harvesting plant biomass may prevent sufficient data collection, which is necessary to account for the natural variability of vegetation at a landscape scale. A biomass estimation technique was previously developed using representative samples or "reference units", which eliminated the need to harvest biomass from all sample plots. Use of reference units increases the number of plots that can be sampled, allowing monitoring to capture the variability of rangeland. This technique was developed for use on shrub foliage with limited validation of the method in herbaceous grassland vegetation. The objectives of this study were to: 1) validate reference unit method for herbaceous grassland biomass estimation, 2) examine multi-species reference calibrations, 3) validate the use of season-long calibration equations, and 4) compare differences among observers using the reference unit method. The study was conducted in 2010 on prairie dog colonies of the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands in southwestern South Dakota. These prairie dog colonies and the surrounding areas provided a range of vegetation height and plant communities to use for testing the method. Research revealed that reference units provided accurate and precise estimates of the mean for herbaceous plants on grasslands, including multi-species functional groups. Twenty-five of the 26 double sampling calibrations were validated by time with no changes in observer estimation trends over the sampling season. Use of the reference unit method was consistent among observers. Additionally, a technique to create shortgrass reference units was developed. The reference unit method is recommended for grassland evaluation and monitoring projects.

Keywords: plant biomass, native grasslands, estimation technique

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)

XML: View XML

Citation:


Boyda, Eric D. 2013. Evaluation of the reference unit method for herbaceous biomass estimation in native grasslands of southwestern South Dakota. Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University. Thesis. 102 p.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.