Real-time monitoring with a tablet app improves implementation of treatments to enhance forest structural diversity

Colin T. Maher, Emily Oja, Abigail Marshall, Matthew Cunningham, Lucas Townsend, Graham Worley-Hood, Luke Ruffner Robinson, Taylor Margot, Drew Lyons, Stuart Fety, Eryn E. Schneider, Sean M.A. Jeronimo, Derek J. Churchill, Andrew J. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Implementing treatments to create structural complexity and spatial heterogeneity within forest stands can be difficult and time consuming. We asked if real-time implementation monitoring with an Android OS tablet application can facilitate successful implementation of such treatments. We compared two tree-marking methods-free selection (FS) and individuals, clumps and openings (ICO)-which were used to implement the same silvicultural prescription. ICO marking guidelines differed from FS in one way: inclusion of targets describing the number of tree clumps of different sizes to be left, with real-time monitoring of progress towards these targets using the tablet app. ICO trials were more successful at producing desired conditions. FS trials resulted in stand densities below the target and lacked large and very large tree clumps. Implementation efficiency (trees marked per person-hour) was similar between the two systems. Real-time implementation monitoring of quantitative targets can increase the likelihood of treatment success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-292
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Forestry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Adaptive management
  • Ecological forestry
  • Forest restoration
  • Monitoring
  • Precision forestry
  • Spatial heterogeneity
  • Structural complexity


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