WHICH VARIABLES IN FOREST SURVEY DATA CAN BETTER DISTINGUISH CONSERVED AND DEGRADED TROPICAL DRY FOREST?
Keywords: Forest degradation, Tropical dry forest, Canopy cover, Biomass, Tree height
Abstract. This paper presents the results of a statistical study of forest inventory data for tropical dry forest in Ayuquila River Basin, Jalisco state, Mexico. The field inventory was carried out between May-June of 2019 which is at the end of dry season and the beginning of raining season. The field inventory data were collected in 43 plots of 500 m2 each which were designed in a way to include tropical dry forests in two conditions: degraded and conserved. In each plot, the collected data include DBH, tree height, number of trees per plot, and the density of tree stems. A study was carried out to find out if there are statistically significant differences variables relating to forest structure between degraded and conserved status. The Mann-Whitney test shows that there is significant differences in canopy cover, biomass, tree height, and basal area. This information is important since it helps to understand whether and how forest degradation can be detected using remote sensing data.