Canadian Forest Service Publications

Estimating Forest Site Productivity Using Airborne Laser Scanning Data and Landsat Time Series. 2015. Tompalski, P.; Coops, N.C.; White, J.C.; Wulder, M.A.; Pickell, P.D. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 41:232–245.

Year: 2015

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36454

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (download), PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1080/07038992.2015.1068686

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Abstract

Site productivity, an important measure of the capacity of land to produce wood biomass, is traditionally estimated by applying species-specific, locally designed models that describe the relation between stand age and dominant height. In this article, we present an approach to derive chronosequences of stand age and height estimates from remotely sensed data to develop site productivity estimates. We first utilized an annual Landsat time series to identify areas of stand replacing disturbances and to estimate the time-since-disturbance, a proxy for stand age. Airborne laser scanning data were used to provide estimates of dominant height for these stands. Nonlinear regression was used to fit a site productivity guide curve for stands aged 7 to 32 years. Existing and developed productivity models, together with remote sensing and inventory data as inputs, were used to validate the site productivity model in three different comparisons. Site productivity was overestimated by 0.70 m (RMSE = 5.55 m) relative to existing forest inventory estimates; further, 89% of remote sensing estimates were within ±1 derived site class of the forest inventory estimates.We conclude that the presented approach is suitable for estimating site productivity for young stands in areas that lack wall-to-wall forest inventory data

Plain Language Summary

Site productivity, an important measure of the capacity of land to produce wood biomass, is traditionally estimated by applying species-specific, locally designed models that describe the relation between stand age and dominant height. In this article, we present an approach to derive chronosequences of stand age and height estimates from remotely sensed data to develop site productivity estimates. Time series of Landsat data is used to provide stand age. Our lidar and Landsat lines of inquiry converge in this paper. We conclude that the presented approach is suitable for estimating site productivity for young stands in areas that lack wall-to-wall forest inventory data.

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