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Estimation of forest variables using airborne laser scanning

Holmgren, Johan (2003). Estimation of forest variables using airborne laser scanning. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Silvestria, 1401-6230 ; 278
ISBN 91-576-6512-5
[Doctoral thesis]

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Airborne laser scanning can provide three-dimensional measurements of the forest canopy with high efficiency and precision. There are presently a large number of airborne laser scanning instruments in operation. The aims of the studies reported in this thesis were, to develop and validate methods for estimation of forest variables using laser data, and to investigate the influence of laser system parameters on the estimates. All studies were carried out in hemi-boreal forest at a test area in southwestern Sweden (lat. 58°30’N, long. 13°40’ E). Forest variables were estimated using regression models. On plot level, the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) for mean tree height estimations ranged between 6% and 11% of the average value for different datasets and methods. The RMSE for stem volume estimations ranged between 19% and 26% of the average value for different datasets and methods. On stand level (area 0.64 ha), the RMSE was 3% and 11% of the average value for mean tree height and stem volume estimations, respectively. A simulation model was used to investigate the effect of different scanning angles on laser measurement of tree height and canopy closure. The effect of different scanning angles was different within different simulated forest types, e.g., different tree species. High resolution laser data were used for detection of individual trees. In total, 71% of the field measurements were detected representing 91% of the total stem volume. Height and crown diameter of the detected trees could be estimated with a RMSE of 0.63 m and 0.61 m, respectively. The magnitude of the height estimation errors was similar to what is usually achieved using field inventory. Using different laser footprint diameters (0.26 to 3.68 m) gave similar estimation accuracies. The tree species Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were discriminated at individual tree level with an accuracy of 95%. The results in this thesis show that airborne laser scanners are useful as forest inventory tools. Forest variables can be estimated on tree level, plot level and stand level with similar accuracies as traditional field inventories.

Authors/Creators:Holmgren, Johan
Title:Estimation of forest variables using airborne laser scanning
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Silvestria
Year of publishing :August 2003
Number of Pages:43
I.Holmgren, J., Nilsson, M. & Olsson, H. 2003. Estimation of tree height and stem volume on plots using airborne laser scanning. Forest Science, 49(3): 419-428.
II.Holmgren, J., Nilsson, M. & Olsson, H. 2003. Simulating the effects of LIDAR scanning angle for estimation of mean tree height and canopy closure. Accepted for publication in Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing.
III.2003. Prediction of tree height, basal area, and stem volume in forest stands using airborne laser scanning. Manuscript.
IV.Persson, Å, Holmgren, J. & Söderman, U. 2002. Detecting and measuring individual trees using an airborne laser scanner. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, 68(9): 925-932.
V.Holmgren, J. & Persson, Å. 2003. Identifying species of individual trees using airborne laser scanner. Accepted for publication in Remote Sensing of Environment.
Place of Publication:Umeå
Publisher: Dept. of Forest Resource Management and Geomatics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:91-576-6512-5
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:K Forestry > K10 Forestry production
U Auxiliary disciplines > U40 Surveying methods
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:forest stands, canopy, height, classification, identification, crown, forest inventories, simulation models, laser radiation
Keywords:LIDAR, tree detection, species classification, scan angle, tree height, crown closure, laser measurement density
Permanent URL:
ID Code:334
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
Deposited By: Staff Epsilon
Deposited On:25 Aug 2003 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:03

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