TREE SPECIES CLASSIFICATION OF BROADLEAVED FORESTS IN NAGANO, CENTRAL JAPAN, USING AIRBORNE LASER DATA AND MULTISPECTRAL IMAGES
Keywords: Forest resource measurement, Airborne laser scanning, Multispectral image, Broadleaved tree species classification, Support vector machine classifier, Neighborhood component analysis, Afan Woodland
Abstract. This study attempted to classify three coniferous and ten broadleaved tree species by combining airborne laser scanning (ALS) data and multispectral images. The study area, located in Nagano, central Japan, is within the broadleaved forests of the Afan Woodland area. A total of 235 trees were surveyed in 2016, and we recorded the species, DBH, and tree height. The geographical position of each tree was collected using a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) device. Tree crowns were manually detected using GNSS position data, field photographs, true-color orthoimages with three bands (red-green-blue, RGB), 3D point clouds, and a canopy height model derived from ALS data. Then a total of 69 features, including 27 image-based and 42 point-based features, were extracted from the RGB images and the ALS data to classify tree species. Finally, the detected tree crowns were classified into two classes for the first level (coniferous and broadleaved trees), four classes for the second level (Pinus densiflora, Larix kaempferi, Cryptomeria japonica, and broadleaved trees), and 13 classes for the third level (three coniferous and ten broadleaved species), using the 27 image-based features, 42 point-based features, all 69 features, and the best combination of features identified using a neighborhood component analysis algorithm, respectively. The overall classification accuracies reached 90 % at the first and second levels but less than 60 % at the third level. The classifications using the best combinations of features had higher accuracies than those using the image-based and point-based features and the combination of all of the 69 features.