INDIVIDUAL TREE DETECTION FROM UAV LIDAR DATA IN A MIXED SPECIES WOODLAND
Keywords: UAV lidar, Single tree, Segmentation, Point cloud, Point intensity, Forest
Abstract. The study evaluates five existing segmentation algorithms to determine the method most suitable for individual tree detection across a species-diverse forest: raster-based region growing, local maxima centroidal Voronoi tessellation, point-cloud level region growing, marker controlled watershed and continuously adaptive mean shift. Each of the methods has been tested twice over one mixed and five single species plots: with their parameters set as constant and with the parameters calibrated for every plot. Overall, continuous adaptive mean shift performs best across all the plots with average F-score of 0.9 with fine-tuned parameters and 0.802 with parameters held at constant. Raster-based algorithms tend to achieve higher scores in coniferous plots, due to the clearly discernible tops, which significantly aid the detection of local maxima. Their performance is also highly dependent on the moving size window used to detect the local maxima, which ideally should be readjusted for every plot. Crown overlap, suppressed and leaning trees are the most likely sources of error for all the algorithms tested.