Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
The aim in the study was to compare alternatives for the prediction of factual sawlog volumes using airborne laser scanning (ALS) data in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) dominated forests in eastern Finland. Accurate estimates of factual sawlog volume are desirable to ease the planning of harvesting operations. The factual sawlog volume of pines was derived from visual bucking, i.e. a procedure where the defects were located on each stem during sample plot measurements. For other species, the theoretical sawlog volume was considered also as the factual sawlog volume due to data restrictions. We predicted factual sawlog volume with eight alternatives that were based on either linear mixed-effects models or k-nearest neighbour imputations. An existing sawlog reduction model, commonly used in Finland, was also tested individually and combined with a number of the alternatives, and site type information was also utilised. Model fitting and prediction was implemented at the 15 × 15 m level, but accuracy was assessed at the 30 × 30 m level. The relative root mean squared error (RMSE%) values for the factual sawlog volume predictions varied between 20.9% and 33.5%, and the best accuracy was obtained with a linear mixed-effects model. These results indicate that factual sawlog volumes in Scots pine dominated forests can be predicted with reasonable accuracy with ALS data.
Accurate timber assortment information is required before cuttings to optimize wood allocation and logging activities. Timber assortments can be derived from diameter-height distribution that is most often predicted from the stand characteristics provided by forest inventory. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the accuracy of three different pre-harvest inventory methods in predicting the structure of mainly Scots pine-dominated, clear-cut stands. The investigated methods were an area-based approach (ABA) based on airborne laser scanning data, the smartphone-based forest inventory Trestima app and the more conventional pre-harvest inventory method called EMO. The estimates of diameter-height distributions based on each method were compared to accurate tree taper data measured and registered by the harvester’s measurement systems during the final cut. According to our results, grid-level ABA and Trestima were generally the most accurate methods for predicting diameter-height distribution. ABA provides predictions for systematic 16 m × 16 m grids from which stand-wise characteristics are aggregated. In order to enable multimodal stand-wise distributions, distributions must be predicted for each grid cell and then aggregated for the stand level, instead of predicting a distribution from the aggregated stand-level characteristics. Trestima required a sufficient sample for reliable results. EMO provided accurate results for the dominating Scots pine but, it could not capture minor admixtures. ABA seemed rather trustworthy in predicting stand characteristics and diameter distribution of standing trees prior to harvesting. Therefore, if up-to-date ABA information is available, only limited benefits can be obtained from stand-specific inventory using Trestima or EMO in mature pine or spruce-dominated forests.