UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Combining Multi-Date Airborne Laser Scanning and Digital Aerial Photogrammetric Data for Forest Growth and Yield Modelling Tompalski, Piotr; Coops, Nicholas C.; Marshall, Peter Lawrence, 1953-; White, Joanne C.; Wulder, Michael A.; Bailey, Todd


The increasing availability of highly detailed three-dimensional remotely-sensed data depicting forests, including airborne laser scanning (ALS) and digital aerial photogrammetric (DAP) approaches, provides a means for improving stand dynamics information. The availability of data from ALS and DAP has stimulated attempts to link these datasets with conventional forestry growth and yield models. In this study, we demonstrated an approach whereby two three-dimensional point cloud datasets (one from ALS and one from DAP), acquired over the same forest stands, at two points in time (circa 2008 and 2015), were used to derive forest inventory information. The area-based approach (ABA) was used to predict top height (H), basal area (BA), total volume (V), and stem density (N) for Time 1 and Time 2 (T1, T2). We assigned individual yield curves to 20 × 20 m grid cells for two scenarios. The first scenario used T1 estimates only (approach 1, single date), while the second scenario combined T1 and T2 estimates (approach 2, multi-date). Yield curves were matched by comparing the predicted cell-level attributes with a yield curve template database generated using an existing growth simulator. Results indicated that the yield curves using the multi-date data of approach 2 were matched with slightly higher accuracy; however, projections derived using approach 1 and 2 were not significantly different. The accuracy of curve matching was dependent on the ABA prediction error. The relative root mean squared error of curve matching in approach 2 for H, BA, V, and N, was 18.4, 11.5, 25.6, and 27.53% for observed (plot) data, and 13.2, 44.6, 50.4 and 112.3% for predicted data, respectively. The approach presented in this study provides additional detail on sub-stand level growth projections that enhances the information available to inform long-term, sustainable forest planning and management.

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