An allometric area-based approach—a cost-effective method for stand volume estimation based on ALS and NFI data
Jarosław Socha , Paweł Hawryło , Marcin Pierzchalski , Krzysztof Stereńczak , Grzegorz Krok , Piotr Wężyk , Luiza Tymińska-Czabańska
AbstractAbstractReliable information concerning stand volume is fundamental to making strategic decisions in sustainable forest management. A variety of remotely sensed data and different inventory methods have been used for the estimation of forest biometric parameters. Particularly, airborne laser scanning (ALS) point clouds are widely used for the estimation of stand volume and forest biomass using an area-based approach (ABA) framework. This method relies on the reference measurements of field plots with the necessary prerequisite of a precise co-registration between ground reference plots and the corresponding ALS samples. In this research, the allometric area-based approach (AABA) is proposed in the context of stand volume estimation of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands. The proposed method does not require detailed information about the coordinates of the field plots. We applied Polish National Forest Inventory data from 9400 circular field plots (400 m2) to develop a plot level stand volume allometric model using two independent variables: top height (TH) and relative spacing index (RSI). The model was developed using the multiple linear regression method with a log–log transformation of variables. The hypothesis was that, the field measurements of TH and RSI could be replaced with corresponding ALS-derived metrics. It was assumed that TH could be represented by the maximum height of the ALS point cloud, while RSI can be calculated based on the number of tree crowns delineated within the ALS-derived canopy height model. Performance of the developed AABA model was compared with the semi-empirical ABASE (with two predictors: TH and RSI) and empirical ABAE (several point cloud metrics as predictors). The models were validated at the plot level using 315 forest management inventory plots (400 m2) and at the stand level using the complete field measurements from 42 Scots pine dominated forest stands in the Milicz forest district (Poland). The AABA model showed a comparable accuracy to the traditional ABA models with relatively high accuracy at the plot (relative root mean square error (RMSE) = 22.8 per cent; R2 = 0.63) and stand levels (RMSE = 17.8 per cent, R2 = 0.65). The proposed novel approach reduces time- and cost-consuming field work required for the classic ABA method, without a significant reduction in the accuracy of stand volume estimations. The AABA is potentially applicable in the context of forest management inventory without the necessity for field measurements at local scale. The transportability of the approach to other species and more complex stands needs to be explored in future studies.
|Journal series||Forestry, ISSN 0015-752X, e-ISSN 1464-3626, (N/A 140 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.7|
|Publication indicators||: 2018 = 1.228; : 2018 = 2.876 (2) - 2018=2.957 (5)|
|Finansowanie||The National Centre for Research and Development in Poland under BIOSTRATEG program, agreement no. BIOSTRATEG1/ 267755/4/NCBR/2015.|
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