An improved technique for non-destructive measurement of the stem volume of standing wood
An improved technique, cheaper and less time-consuming, to measure standing wood volume by using an electronic theodolite was tested, by which greater information from the forest could be acquired accurately and non-destructively. This was achieved by recording the diameter at breast height and ground-level diameter of a tree as well as the included angle between the electronic theodolite and the left and right tangents of the stem at any point. The standing wood volume then was computed precisely by section. In addition, the factors that influence the precision of the method (observable distance and number of segments) were also analysed. In the study, 175 Larix gmelinii (Rupr.) Kuzen. trees and 190 Populus tomentosa Carrière trees chosen randomly for sampling were measured with the electronic theodolite, and then were cut down for measurement of the average cross-section volume. Based on the data acquired from 100 sample trees, a standard volume table was compiled, and then the data for the remaining random 10 sample trees in each group were selected for a comparison test. The results indicated that the optimal distance for indirect observation should be as high as the sample tree, and the optimal visual distinguished section was about 2 m. The correlation coefficient between the value measured non-destructively and the value of the felled trees of L. gmelinii was 0.97, with an average relative error of 1.62%. With regard to P. tomentosa, the correlation coefficient between the two values obtained by the two methods was 0.905 with an average relative error of 8.40%. It was concluded that the standard volume model based on the non-destructive measurement technique meets the requirements for precision in forest surveys. The precision of the standard volume model for L. gmelinii (a coniferous tree) was superior to that of the model for P. tomentosa (a broad-leaved tree). The electronic theodolite method provides an alternative technique for measuring trees without destructive sampling and is widely applicable for forest surveys.
Keywords: electronic theodolite, non-destructive measurement, standing wood