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Two-phase forest inventory using very-high-resolution laser scanning

Persson, Henrik and Olofsson, Kenneth and Holmgren, Johan (2022). Two-phase forest inventory using very-high-resolution laser scanning. Remote Sensing of Environment. 271 , 112909
[Research article]

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In this study, we compared a two-phase laser-scanning-based forest inventory of stands versus a traditional field inventory using sample plots. The two approaches were used to estimate stem volume (VOL), Lorey's mean height (HL), Lorey's stem diameter (DL), and VOL per tree species in a study area in Sweden. The estimates were compared at the stand level with the harvested reference values obtained using a forest harvester. In the first phase, a helicopter acquired airborne laser scanning (ALS) data with >500 points/m2 along 50-m wide strips across the stands. These strips intersected systematic plots in phase two, where terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) was used to model DL for individual trees. In total, phase two included 99 plots across 10 boreal forest stands in Sweden (lat 62.9 degrees N, long 16.9 degrees E). The single trees were segmented in both the ALS and TLS data and linked to each other. The very-high-resolution ALS data enabled us to directly measure tree heights and also classify tree species using a convolutional neural network. Stem volume was predicted from the predicted DBH and the estimated height, using national models, and aggregated at the stand level. The study demonstrates a workflow to derive forest variables and stand-level statistics that has potential to replace many manual field inventories thanks to its time efficiency and improved accuracy. To evaluate the inventories, we estimated bias, RMSE, and precision, expressed as standard error. The laser-scanning-based inventory provided estimates with an accuracy considerably higher than the field inventory. The RMSE was 17 m3/ha (7.24%), 0.9 m (5.63%), and 16 mm (5.99%) for VOL, HL, and DL respectively. The tree species classification was generally successful and improved the three species-specific VOL estimates by 9% to 74%, compared to field estimates. In conclusion, the demonstrated laser-scanning-based inventory shows potential to replace some future forest inventories, thanks to the increased accuracy demonstrated empirically in the Swedish forest study area.

Authors/Creators:Persson, Henrik and Olofsson, Kenneth and Holmgren, Johan
Title:Two-phase forest inventory using very-high-resolution laser scanning
Series Name/Journal:Remote Sensing of Environment
Year of publishing :2022
Article number:112909
Number of Pages:14
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 2 Engineering and Technology > 207 Environmental Engineering > Remote Sensing
Keywords:Forestry, Laser scanning, Hybrid inference, Forest inventory, Sampling
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000759731800001
ID Code:27333
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:18 Mar 2022 10:25
Metadata Last Modified:13 Sep 2022 19:46

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