Modeling the Effect of Environmental and Topographic Variables Affecting the Height Increment of Norway Spruce Stands in Mountainous Conditions with the Use of LiDAR Data
Radomir Bałazy , Agnieszka Kamińska , Mariusz Ciesielski , Jarosław Socha , Marcin Pierzchalski
AbstractDiffering levels of humidity, sunlight exposure or temperature in different areas of mountain ranges are fundamental to the existence of particular vegetation types. A better understanding of even local variability of trees may bring significant benefits, not only economic, but most of all, nature-related. The main focus of this study was the analysis of relationships between increment in stand height, age and the natural topography in the examined area. Among others, the following were examined with regard to their influence on the growing process: age, altitude above sea level (m a.s.l.), aspect and slope, topographic wetness index (TWI), and topographic position index (TPI) generated from an airborne laser scanning (ALS)-derived elevation model. To precisely calculate forest growth dynamics in mountain conditions for different spruce stands, repeated airborne lidar measurements from 2007 and 2012 were used (with resolution respectively 4 and 6 pts./m2). Detailed information on every stand including species composition, share of individual species, as well as their age, were acquired from the State Forests IT System (SILP). It was proven in this study, that environmental and topographic variables may have an impact on forest growth dynamics on even closely located areas. Apart from the age, the greatest influence on tree growth has an altitude above sea level, aspect and slope. The highest height increment of spruce was observed in the stands of up to 30 years old, those that had grown at an altitude under 850 m a.s.l., on the slopes up to 15 degrees or on those which were on the northeastern exposure. The results obtained show that the physiology of species, even those that are well known, largely depends on local topographic conditions. The proven impact of different topography factors on the growth of spruce may be used while planning economic activities in precision forestry. Additional research with using multiple laser scanning in the context of other regions or other species may bring us better recognition of local growth conditions and in consequence, significantly better planning and higher revenues obtained from the sale of trees.
|Journal series||Remote Sensing, ISSN 2072-4292, (N/A 100 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.7|
|Keywords in English||stand growth; LiDAR; increment; mountains; topography; ALS|
|License||Journal (articles only); author's original; ; after publication|
|Publication indicators||= 0; : 2017 = 1.559; : 2018 = 4.118 (2) - 2018=4.74 (5)|
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