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Estimating over- and understorey canopy density of temperate mixed stands by airborne LiDAR data

Latifi, Hooman and Heurich, Marco and Hartig, Florian and Müller, Jörg and Krzystek, Peter and Jehl, Hans and Dech, Stefan (2016) Estimating over- and understorey canopy density of temperate mixed stands by airborne LiDAR data. Forestry, 89 (1), pp. 69-81. Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/forestry/cpv032. ISSN 0015-752X.

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Official URL: http://forestry.oxfordjournals.org/content/89/1/69


Estimating forest structural attributes is one of the essential forestry-related remote sensing applications. The methods applied so far typically concentrate on the structure of the overstorey. For various conservation and Management applications, however, information on lower layers is also of great interest. Detecting understorey cover by remote sensing is challenging, as passive sensors do not penetrate to the forest ground layer. An alternative to these is 3D metrics fromactive light detection and ranging (LiDAR). Here,we evaluate this technique for describing the vegetation density of multiple stand layers within the temperate stands of a large protected area in southeastern Germany. We combined LiDAR metrics and information on forest habitat types with regression models to investigate LiDAR metrics that are significantly correlated with vegetation density. The top canopy and the herbal layer showed strong correlations with the applied LiDAR metrics, whereas the predictive power was lower for the intermediate stand layers. Moreover, our results suggest that the relationship between LiDAR predictors and vegetation density depends on the forest type. A comparison of the regression models with randomforest predictions showed no major improvement in predictive error. In conclusion, this study highlights the value of the LiDAR metrics for characterizing the structural properties of lower forest layers, which has implications for wildlife and forest management applications, especially in protected Areas.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/103371/
Document Type:Article
Title:Estimating over- and understorey canopy density of temperate mixed stands by airborne LiDAR data
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Latifi, Hoomanhooman.latifi (at) uni-wuerzburg.deUNSPECIFIED
Heurich, MarcoBavarian Forest National Park, Department of ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Hartig, Florianflorian.hartig (at) biom.uni-freiburg.deUNSPECIFIED
Müller, JörgBavarian Forest National Park, Department of ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Krzystek, PeterMunich University of Applied Sciences, Department of GeoinformaticsUNSPECIFIED
Jehl, Hanshans.jehl (at) npv-bw.bayern.deUNSPECIFIED
Dech, Stefanstefan.dech (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Forestry
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1093/forestry/cpv032
Page Range:pp. 69-81
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Keywords:over- and understorey, LiDAR, linear regression, random forest, habitat, Bavarian forest
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Geoscientific remote sensing and GIS methods
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center
Deposited By: Wöhrl, Monika
Deposited On:09 Mar 2016 13:39
Last Modified:11 Jan 2017 11:44

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