Designing a Monitoring Program for Assessing Patterns of Plant Diversity in Forests Nationwide
This chapter considers the difficulties in designing the plant diversity component of monitoring programs designed to report the condition and production of the nation's forests, including changes in understory plant diversity. The methods were modified to be flexible enough to work equally well in a variety of forest types, yet standardized enough to allow for highly comparable data on plant diversity across the United States. The US Department of Agriculture's Forest Health Monitoring program accomplished this task. It is a national program that makes annual evaluations of the condition, changes, and trends in the health of forest ecosystems in the US. The monitoring program consists of a nationwide, uniform distribution of sample plots providing a large, unbiased sample of the nation's forests (1 plot/63,942 ha).
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