Design unbiased estimation in line intersect sampling using segmented transects

David L.R. Affleck, Timothy G. Gregoire, Harry T. Valentine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In many applications of line intersect sampling, transects consist of multiple, connected segments in a prescribed configuration. The relationship between the transect configuration and the selection probability of a population element is illustrated and a consistent sampling protocol, applicable to populations composed of arbitrarily shaped elements, is proposed. It is shown that this protocol obviates the arbitrary practice of treating multiple intersections of a single particle as independent probabilistic events and preserves the design-unbiasedness of Kaiser's (1983, Biometrics 39, 965-976) conditional and unconditional estimators, suitably generalized to segmented transect designs. The relative efficiency and utility of segmented transect designs are also discussed from a fixed population perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-154
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental and Ecological Statistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005


This research was supported by funds from the USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, RWU-4104, through a cooperative agreement with the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. The authors also thank four anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that improved the quality of the manuscript.

FundersFunder number
Yale University
U.S. Forest Service-Retired
Northern Research StationRWU-4104


    • Coarse woody debris
    • Design-unbiasedness
    • Multiple intersections
    • Transect configuration


    Dive into the research topics of 'Design unbiased estimation in line intersect sampling using segmented transects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this