SPECIES-SPECIFIC FOREST VARIABLE ESTIMATION USING NON-PARAMETRIC MODELING OF MULTI-SPECTRAL PHOTOGRAMMETRIC POINT CLOUD DATA
Keywords: Forestry, photogrammetry, estimation, inventory, spectral, stereoscopic, point cloud, mapping
Abstract. The recent development in software for automatic photogrammetric processing of multispectral aerial imagery, and the growing nation-wide availability of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data, are about to revolutionize data capture for forest management planning in Scandinavia. Using only already available aerial imagery and ALS-assessed DEM data, raster estimates of the forest variables mean tree height, basal area, total stem volume, and species-specific stem volumes were produced and evaluated. The study was conducted at a coniferous hemi-boreal test site in southern Sweden (lat. 58° N, long. 13° E). Digital aerial images from the Zeiss/Intergraph Digital Mapping Camera system were used to produce 3D point-cloud data with spectral information. Metrics were calculated for 696 field plots (10 m radius) from point-cloud data and used in k-MSN to estimate forest variables. For these stands, the tree height ranged from 1.4 to 33.0 m (18.1 m mean), stem volume from 0 to 829 m3 ha-1 (249 m3 ha-1 mean) and basal area from 0 to 62.2 m2 ha-1 (26.1 m2 ha-1 mean), with mean stand size of 2.8 ha. Estimates made using digital aerial images corresponding to the standard acquisition of the Swedish National Land Survey (Lantmäteriet) showed RMSEs (in percent of the surveyed stand mean) of 7.5% for tree height, 11.4% for basal area, 13.2% for total stem volume, 90.6% for pine stem volume, 26.4 for spruce stem volume, and 72.6% for deciduous stem volume. The results imply that photogrammetric matching of digital aerial images has significant potential for operational use in forestry.