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Efficiency and Accuracy of Wildland Weed Mapping Methods

  • Stephanie D. Christensen (a1), Corey V. Ransom (a1), Kimberly A. Edvarchuk (a1) and V. Philip Rasmussen (a1)

Abstract

Land managers must set weed management priorities if limited resources are to be utilized effectively. Weed surveys and inventories assist land managers in this process by providing information regarding the identity, location, and relative abundance of weeds on their land. Although this information is vital, it can be challenging to select a method that provides the necessary data to meet management objectives while remaining accurate and cost effective. This paper critically evaluates four wildland weed mapping methods. These methods were defined as (1) paper-drawn, (2) buffered-point, (3) screen-drawn, and (4) perimeter-walked. Polygons were drawn by hand on topographic maps in the paper-drawn method. The other methods utilized handheld geographic positioning system (GPS) technology to digitally record infestations. Six experienced weed mappers independently recorded the location and size of eight sagebrush patches using each method. Time and accuracy were evaluated for each method based upon mapping time, distance walked, horizontal precision error, estimated size error, and shape error. The paper-drawn method was significantly less accurate than GPS-based methods at recording patch size and location. There was no significant difference in the accuracy of the buffered-point, screen-drawn, and perimeter-walked methods at reporting patch size and location. The need to cover land area quickly and efficiently favors the selection of the buffered-point or screen-drawn method because of time and distance factors. However, if patch shape is an important factor, the perimeter-walked or buffered-point methods may be the best choices of methods tested.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author's E-mail: corey.ransom@usu.edu

References

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Efficiency and Accuracy of Wildland Weed Mapping Methods

  • Stephanie D. Christensen (a1), Corey V. Ransom (a1), Kimberly A. Edvarchuk (a1) and V. Philip Rasmussen (a1)

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