Canadian Forest Service Publications

Predictions of forest inventory cover type proportions using Landsat TM. 2000. Magnussen, S.; Boudewyn, P.A.; Wulder, M.A.; Seemann, D. Silva Fennica 34(4): 351-370.

Year: 2000

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 5526

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


The feasibility of generating via Landsat TM data current estimates of cover type proportions for areas lacking this information in the national forest inventory was explored by a case study in New Brunswick. A recent forest management inventory covering 4196 km 2 in south-eastern New Brunswick (the test area) and a coregistered Landsat TM scene was used to develop predictive models of 12 cover type proportions in an adjacent 4525 km 2 region (the validation area). Four prediction models were considered,one using a maximum likelihood classifier (MLC), and three using the proportions of 30 TM clusters as predictors. The MLC was superior for non-vegetated cover types while a neural net or a prorating of cluster proportions was chosen for predicting vegetated cover types. Most predictions generated for national inventory photo-plots of 2 x 2 km were closer to the most recent inventory results than estimates extrapolated from the test area. Agreement between predictions and current inventory results varied considerably among cover types with model-based predictions outper-forming, on average, the simple spatial extensions by about 14 %.In this region,an 11-year-old forest inventory for the validation area provided estimates that in half the cases were closer to current inventory estimates than predictions using the optimal Landsat TM model. A strong temporal correlation of photo-plot-level cover type proportions made old-values more consistent than predictions using the optimal Landsat TM model in all but three cases. Prorating of cluster proportions holds promise for large-scale multi-sensor predictions of forest inventory cover types.