The effects of sample plot selection strategy and the number of sample plots on inoptimality losses in forest management planning based on airborne laser scanning data
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CitationRuotsalainen, R. Pukkala, T. Kangas, A. Vauhkonen, J. Tuominen, S. Packalen, P. (2019). The effects of sample plot selection strategy and the number of sample plots on inoptimality losses in forest management planning based on airborne laser scanning data. Canadian journal of forest research-revue canadienne de recherche forestiere, 49 (9) , 1135-1146. 10.1139/cjfr-2018-0345.
In forest management planning, errors in predicted stand attributes might lead to suboptimal decisions that result in decreased net present value (NPV). Forest inventory data will have higher value if the amount of suboptimal decisions can be decreased. Therefore, the value of information can be measured through the decrease in inoptimality losses, which are the NPV differences between the optimal and suboptimal decisions. In this study, four alternative sample plot selection strategies with different numbers of sample plots were compared in terms of expected mean inoptimality losses. Stand-level mean inoptimality losses varied between €41.1·ha–1 and €80.7·ha−1, depending on the sample plot selection strategy and the number of sample plots used as training data in the k-nearest neighbors imputation method. Mean inoptimality losses decreased substantially when the number of sample plots increased from 25 to 100, and the decreasing trend continued until 500 sample plots. Total inoptimality losses can decrease by approximately €1 million in an inventory area of 100 000 ha when the number of sample plots is increased from 100 to 500. The measurement of more sample plots can be justified as long as the field measurement costs do not exceed the decrease in inoptimality losses.