Assessing forest inventory information obtained from different inventory approaches and remote sensing data sources
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Evaluations of forest inventories usually end when accuracy and precision have been quantified.
We aim to value the accuracy of information derived from different remote sensing sensors (airborne laser scanning, aerial multispectral and hyperspectral imagery) and four alternative forest inventory approaches.
The approaches were (1) mean values or (2) diameter distributions both obtained by the area-based approach (ABA), (3) individual tree crown (ITC) segmentation and (4) an approach called semi-individual tree crown (SITC) segmentation. The estimated tree information was assessed and used to evaluate how erroneous inventory data affect economic value and loss due to suboptimal harvesting decisions. Field measured data used as reference come from 23 field plots collected in a study area in south-eastern Norway typical of managed boreal forests in Norway.
The accuracy of the forest inventory was generally in line with previous studies. Our results show that using mean values from the area-based approach may yield large economic losses, while adding a diameter distribution to the area-based approach yielded less loss than the individual tree crown methods. Adding information from imagery had little effect on the results.
Taking inventory costs into account, diameter distributions from the area-based approach without additional information seems favourable.
KeywordsAerial imagery Airborne laser scanning Forest management inventory Hyperspectral Multispectral Value of information
The research was conducted as part of the FlexWood (‘Flexible Wood Supply Chain’) project, funded under the European Union’s and European Atomic Energy Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013; FP7/2007–2011, under Grant Agreement No. 245136). We wish to thank Blom Geomatics (Norway) for providing and processing the ALS data and Terratec AS (Norway) for providing and processing the hyperspectral data.
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