Canadian Forest Service Publications

Automated detection and mapping of crown discoloration by jack pine budworm with 2.5 m resolution multispectral imagery. 2005. Leckie, D.G.; Cloney, E.E.; Joyce, S.P. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 7(1): 61-77.

Year: 2005

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25428

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Jack pine budworm (Choristoneura pinus pinus (Free.)) is a native insect defoliator of mainly jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) in North America east of the Rocky Mountains. Periodic outbreaks of this insect, which generally last two to three years, can cause growth loss and mortality and have an important impact ecologically and economically in terms of timber production and harvest. The jack pine budworm prefers to feed on current year needles. Their characteristic feeding habits cause discolouration or reddening of the canopy. This red colouration is used to map the distribution and intensity of defoliation that has taken place that year (current defoliation). An accurate and consistent map of the distribution and intensity of budworm defoliation (as represented by the red discolouration) at the stand and within stand level is desirable. Automated classification of multispectral imagery, such as is available from airborne and new high resolution satellite systems, was explored as a viable tool for objectively classifying current discolouration. Airborne multispectral imagery was acquired at a 2.5 m resolution with the Multispectral Electro-optical Imaging Sensor (MEIS). It recorded imagery in six nadir looking spectral bands specifically designed to detect discolouration caused by budworm and a near-infrared band viewing forward at 358 was also used. A 2200 nm middle infrared image was acquired with a Daedalus scanner. Training and test areas of different levels of discolouration were created based on field observations and a maximum likelihood supervized classification was used to estimate four classes of discolouration (nil-trace, light, moderate and severe). Good discrimination was achieved with an overall accuracy of 84% for the four discolouration levels. The moderate discolouration class was the poorest at 73%, because of confusion with both the severe and light classes. Accuracy on a stand basis was also good, and regional and within stand discolouration patterns were portrayed well. Only three or four well-placed spectral bands were needed for a good classification. A narrow red band, a near-infrared and short wave infrared band were most useful. A forward looking band did not improve discolouration estimation, but further testing is needed to confirm this result.