The suitability of leaf-off airborne laser scanning data in an area-based forest inventory of coniferous and deciduous trees
Villikka M., Packalén P., Maltamo M. (2012). The suitability of leaf-off airborne laser scanning data in an area-based forest inventory of coniferous and deciduous trees. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 1 article id 68. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.68
This study examined the suitability of airborne laser scanner (ALS) data collected under leaf-off conditions in a forest inventory, in which deciduous and coniferous trees need to be separated. All analyses were carried out with leaf-on and leaf-off ALS data collected from the same study area. Additionally, aerial photographs were utilized in the Nearest Neighbor (NN) imputations. An area-based approach was used in this study. Regression estimates of plot volume were more accurate in the case of leaf-off than leaf-on data. In addition, regression models were more accurate in coniferous plots than in deciduous plots. The results of applying leaf-on models with leaf-off data, and vice versa, indicate that leaf-on and leaf-off data should not be combined since this causes serious bias. The total volume and volume by coniferous and deciduous trees was estimated by the NN imputation. In terms of total volume, leaf-off data provided more accurate estimates than leaf-on data. In addition, leaf-off data discriminated between coniferous and deciduous trees, even without the use of aerial photographs. Accurate results were also obtained when leaf-off ALS data were used to classify sample plots into deciduous and coniferous dominated plots. The results indicate that the area-based method and ALS data collected under leaf-off conditions are suitable for forest inventory in which deciduous and coniferous trees need to be distinguished.
Received 8 July 2011 Accepted 22 September 2011 Published 31 December 2012