Assessment of Different Remote Sensing Data for Forest Structural Attributes Estimation in the Hyrcanian forests

Noureddin Nourian, Shaban Shataee-Joibary, Jahangir Mohammadi


Aim of study: The objective of the study was the comparative assessment of various spatial resolutions of optical satellite imagery including Landsat-TM, ASTER, and Quickbird data to estimate the forest structure attributes of Hyrcanian forests, Golestan province, northernIran.

Material and methods: The 112 square plots with area of0.09 ha were measured using a random cluster sampling method and then stand volume, basal area, and tree stem density were computed using measured data. After geometric and atmospheric corrections of images, the spectral attributes from original and different synthetic bands were extracted for modelling. The statistical modelling was performed using CART algorithm. Performance assessment of models was examined using the unused validation plots by RMSE and bias measures.

Main Results: The results showed that model of Quickbird data for stand volume, basal area, and tree stem density had a better performance compared to ASTER and TM data. However, estimations by ASTER and TM imagery had slightly similar results for all three parameters.

Research highlights: This study exposed that the high-resolution satellite data are more useful for forest structure attributes estimation in the Hyrcanian broadleaves forests compared with medium resolution images without consideration of images costs. However, regarding to be free of the most medium resolution data such as ASTER and TM,ETM+ or OLI images, these data can be used with slightly similar results.  

Keywords: Forest structure attributes; quickbird; ASTER; TM; CART algorithm; Hyrcanian forests.


Forest structure attributes; Quickbird; ASTER; TM; CART algorithm; Hyrcanian forests.

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2016253-08682