Current issue: 53(4)
The purpose of this study was to test the benefits of a forest site quality map, when applying satellite image-based forest inventory. By combining field sample plot data from national forest inventories with satellite imagery and forest site quality data, it is possible to estimate forest stand characteristics with higher accuracy for smaller areas. The reliability of the estimates was evaluated using the data from a stand-wise survey for area sizes ranging from 0.06 ha to 300 ha. When the mean volume was estimated, a relative error of 14 per cent was obtained for areas of 50 ha; for areas of 30 ha the corresponding figure was below 20 per cent. The relative gain in interpretation accuracy, when including the forest site quality information, ranged between 1 and 6 per cent. The advantage increased according to the size of the target area. The forest site quality map had the effect of decreasing the relative error in Norway spruce (Picea abies) volume estimations, but it did not contribute to Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) volume estimation procedure.