, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 203-211
Date: 02 May 2009

Object-based forest biomass estimation using Landsat ETM+ in Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia

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Information about forest biomass distribution is important for sustainable forest management and monitoring fuelwood supply. The objective of this study is to develop an accurate forest biomass map for Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia. We used a new technique (object-based approach) and a conventional technique (pixel-based approach) for the estimation of forest biomass using Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+). The object-based approach created segments of images, and calculated statistical and textural attributes. Our results showed that estimation accuracy of the object-based approach, with the use of band 1 and an exponential fit, was the best (R 2 = 0.76), and this accuracy was comparable to that of the pixel-based approach (R 2 = 0.67). Although several textural variables were related to forest biomass, they did not contribute significantly to improvement of estimation accuracy. However, the object-based method can be used for image segmentation so that the image objects are spectrally more homogeneous within individual regions than with their neighbors. Hence, they can be regarded as management units for policy-related spatial decisions. Therefore, it is possible to select either of the two methods depending upon what the situation demands.