Comparisons among five canopy-cover estimating methods in five Douglas-fir/western hemlock structure types in the western Oregon Cascades

  • Creator(s): Anne C.S. Fiala McIntosh
  • PI(s): Anne C.S. Fiala McIntosh
  • Originator(s): Anne C.S. Fiala McIntosh
  • Other researcher(s): Steven L. Garman, Andrew N. Gray
  • Dates of data collection: Jun 26 2001 - Sep 9 2001
  • Data collection status: Study collection is completed and no new collection is planned
  • Data access: Online
  • DOI:
  • Last update: Sep 8 2004 (Version 1)
<Citation>     <Acknowledgement>     <Disclaimer>    
Fiala McIntosh, A. 2004. Comparisons among five canopy-cover estimating methods in five Douglas-fir/western hemlock structure types in the western Oregon Cascades. Long-Term Ecological Research. Forest Science Data Bank, Corvallis, OR. [Database]. Available: Accessed 2023-12-11.
Data were provided by the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest research program, funded by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Program (DEB 2025755), US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, and Oregon State University.
While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and documentation, complete accuracy of data sets cannot be guaranteed. All data are made available "as is". The Andrews LTER shall not be liable for damages resulting from any use or misinterpretation of data sets.
Estimates of forest canopy cover are widely used in forest research and management, yet methods used to quantify canopy cover and the estimates they provide vary greatly. Four ground-based techniques for estimating overstory cover -line- intercept, spherical densiometer, moosehorn, and hemispherical photography-and cover estimates generated using the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) were compared in five Douglas- fir/western hemlock structure types in western Oregon. Differences in cover estimates among the ground-based methods did not depend on the structure type in which they were measured (p=0.33). As expected, estimates of cover increased and within-stand variability decreased with increasing angle of view among techniques. However, the moosehorn provided the most conservative estimates of vertical-projection overstory cover. The FVS-generated cover was consistently lower (by up to 44%, 17% on average) than the ground-based estimates and is not advised as a substitute for ground-based measures in these forest types. Regression equations are provided to allow conversion among canopy cover estimates developed with the four ground-based methods.

Study Description Taxonomic Hierarchy Download Study Location Information: (CSV)
Ecological Metadata Language: (EML)
1Comparison of the cover measurements for each stand (Jun 25 2001 - )METADATADATA
This table has calculated the stand-level mean and standard errors for each of the methods within each of the 52 stands.
2Densiometer measurements within each stand (Jun 26 2001 - )METADATADATA
This table has the raw data collected for the densiometer in each stand.
3Hemispherical photography measurements within each stand (Jun 27 2001 - )METADATADATA
This table has the raw ISF values for photos analyzed for cover.
4Line-intercept measurements within each stand. (Jun 28 2001 - )METADATADATA
This table has the raw data on each line-intercept measure collected within each stand.
5Moosehorn measurements within each stand. (Jun 29 2001 - )METADATADATA
This table has the raw mooosehorn measures for each stand.
6Information on the plot locations (Jun 30 2001 - )METADATADATA
This table contains general information on the plots: locations, etc.

 Long-term growth, mortality and regeneration of trees in permanent vegetation plots in the Pacific Northwest, 1910 to present (TV010)

 Fiala, Anne C. S., Garman, Steven L., Gray, Andrew N. 2006, Comparison of five canopy cover estimation techniques in the western Oregon Cascades (Pub. No: 4198)