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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Remote sensing of Douglas-fir trees newly infested by bark beetles Hall, Peter Michael


Two study plots containing Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) newly infested by Douglas-fir beetle (Dendroctonus pseudotsugae Hopk.) were established and photographed with large-scale (1:1000), colour infrared film on July 29. 1979 - approximately three months after possible insect attack. Ground checking confirmed attacked trees and also showed that at the time of photography all trees had visually green, healthy-appearing foliage. All trees, both attacked and non-attacked in each plot were matched to their photographic images, and visual photo interpretation for damage types and densitometric analysis of the original transparencies were done. For each tree-crown image included, the yellow, magenta and cyan dye layer density measurements were taken and these values plus three ratios derived from them were tested statistically using analysis of variance and stepwise discriminant analysis. Significant differences were found between the optical density values of the images of healthy and attacked trees. The ratio values had much smaller variances than did the individual dye layer densities and all three ratios showed significant differences between healthy and attacked trees. Stepwise discriminant analysis produced significant separation of damage classes. Two-thirds of the successfully attacked trees were correctly classified and were confirmed by a second ground check in January, 1980. It is concluded that successfully beetle-attacked trees have a unique spectral signature than can be detected on colour infrared air photos approximately three months after initial attack when the trees still support visually green, healthy-appearing foliage.

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