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Forests 2016, 7(3), 70; doi:10.3390/f7030070

Geospatial Estimation of above Ground Forest Biomass in the Sierra Madre Occidental in the State of Durango, Mexico

1
Doctorado Institucional en Ciencias Agropecuarias y Forestales, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Boulevard Guadiana 501, Fraccionamiento Ciudad Universitaria, 34120 Durango, Mexico
2
Instituto de Silvicultura e Industria de la Madera, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Boulevard Guadiana 501, Fraccionamiento Ciudad Universitaria, 34120 Durango, Mexico
3
Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Río Papaloapan, Valle del Sur, 34120 Durango, Mexico
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Peter N. Beets and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 19 November 2015 / Revised: 8 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
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Abstract

Combined use of new geospatial techniques and non-parametric multivariate statistical methods enables monitoring and quantification of the biomass of large areas of forest ecosystems with acceptable reliability. The main objective of the present study was to estimate the aboveground forest biomass (AGB) in the Sierra Madre Occidental (SMO) in the state of Durango, Mexico, using the M5 model tree (M5P) technique and the analysis of medium-resolution satellite-based multi-spectral data, and field data collected from a network of 201 permanent forest growth and soil research sites (SPIFyS). Research plots were installed by systematic sampling throughout the study area in 2011. The digital levels of the images were converted to apparent reflectance (ToA) and surface reflectance (SR). The M5P technique that constructs tree-based piecewise linear models was used. The fitted model with SR and tree abundance by species group as predictive variables (ASG) explained 73% of the observed AGB variance (the root mean squared error (RMSE) = 39.40 Mg·ha−1). The variables that best discriminated the AGB, in order of decreasing importance, were the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), tree abundance of other broadleaves species (OB), Band 4 of Landsat 5 TM (Thematic Mapper) satellite and tree abundance of pines (Pinus). The results demonstrate the potential usefulness of the M5P method for estimating AGB based in the surface reflectance values (SR). View Full-Text
Keywords: M5P; remote sensing; Landsat; Sierra Madre Occidental M5P; remote sensing; Landsat; Sierra Madre Occidental
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

López-Serrano, P.M.; López Sánchez, C.A.; Solís-Moreno, R.; Corral-Rivas, J.J. Geospatial Estimation of above Ground Forest Biomass in the Sierra Madre Occidental in the State of Durango, Mexico. Forests 2016, 7, 70.

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