Remote Sensing Applications and Decision Support

Estimating average tree crown size using high-resolution airborne data

[+] Author Affiliations
Olga Brovkina

Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Zemedelska 3, 61300, Czech Republic

Global Change Research Centre AS CR, Belidla 986/4a, 60300, Brno, Czech Republic

Iscander Latypov

Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint-Petersburg Scientific Research Centre for Ecological Safety, St. Petersburg, Korpusnaya Street 18, 197110, Russia

Emil Cienciala

IFER-Institute of Forest Ecosystem Research, Areal 1. Jilovske a.s., Jilove u Prahy, 254 01, Czech Republic

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 9(1), 096053 (May 13, 2015). doi:10.1117/1.JRS.9.096053
History: Received December 14, 2014; Accepted April 14, 2015
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Abstract.  Tree crown size is a key parameter of tree structure that has a variety of uses, including assessment of stand density, tree growth, and amount of timber volume assessment. Remote sensing techniques provide a potentially low-cost alternative to field-based assessments, but require the development of algorithms to easily and accurately extract the required information. This study presents a method for average crown diameter estimation on a plot level based on high-resolution airborne data. The method consists of the combination of a window binarization procedure and a granulometric algorithm. This approach avoids the complicated crown delineation procedure that is currently used to estimate crown size. The method was applied to a spruce mountain forest and was verified on 23 reference plots. The method achieved best results of R2=76% [RMSE=0.37m (11.2% of the observed mean)] and R2=79% [RMSE=0.49m (16.7% of the observed mean)]. The study investigates the dependence of the algorithm results on the sun altitude of each image, and determines the optimal combination of spectral bands from hyperspectral airborne images for the application of the method.

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© 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Olga Brovkina ; Iscander Latypov and Emil Cienciala
"Estimating average tree crown size using high-resolution airborne data", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 9(1), 096053 (May 13, 2015). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JRS.9.096053


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