Predicting tree attributes and quality characteristics of Scots pine using airborne laser scanning data
Maltamo M., Peuhkurinen J., Malinen J., Vauhkonen J., Packalén P., Tokola T. (2009). Predicting tree attributes and quality characteristics of Scots pine using airborne laser scanning data. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 3 article id 203. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.203
The development of airborne laser scanning (ALS) during last ten years has provided new possibilities for accurate description of the living tree stock. The forest inventory applications of ALS data include both tree and area-based plot level approaches. The main goal of such applications has usually been to estimate accurate information on timber quantities. Prediction of timber quality has not been focused to the same extent. Thus, in this study we consider here the prediction of both basic tree attributes (tree diameter, height and volume) and characteristics describing tree quality more closely (crown height, height of the lowest dead branch and sawlog proportion of tree volume) by means of high resolution ALS data. The tree species considered is Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), and the field data originate from 14 sample plots located in the Koli National Park in North Karelia, eastern Finland. The material comprises 133 trees, and size and quality variables of these trees were modeled using a large number of potential independent variables calculated from the ALS data. These variables included both individual tree recognition and area-based characteristics. Models for the dependent tree characteristics to be considered were then constructed using either the non-parametric k-MSN method or a parametric set of models constructed simultaneously by the Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) approach. The results indicate that the k-MSN method can provide more accurate tree-level estimates than SUR models. The k-MSN estimates were in fact highly accurate in general, the RMSE being less than 10% except in the case of tree volume and height of the lowest dead branch.
Received 28 May 2008 Accepted 28 January 2009 Published 31 December 2009