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Forests 2017, 8(7), 239; doi:10.3390/f8070239

Considerations towards a Novel Approach for Integrating Angle-Count Sampling Data in Remote Sensing Based Forest Inventories

Department of Biometrics, Forest Research Institute of Baden-Württemberg; Wonnhaldestr. 4, Freiburg D-79100, Germany
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Academic Editors: Christian Ginzler, Lars T. Waser and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimizing Forest Inventories with Remote Sensing Techniques)
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Abstract

Integration of remote sensing (RS) data in forest inventories for enhancing plot-based forest variable prediction is a widely researched topic. Geometric consistency between forest inventory plots and areas for extraction of RS-based predictive metrics is considered a crucial factor for accurate modelling of forest variables. Achieving geometric consistency is particularly difficult with regard to angle-count sampling (ACS) plots, which have neither distinct shape nor distinct extent. This initial study considers a new approach for integrating ACS and RS data, where the concept of ACS is transferred to RS-based metrics extraction. By using the relationship between tree height and diameter at breast height (DBH), pixels of a RS-based canopy height model are extracted if their value suggests a DBH that would lead to inclusion in an angle-count sample at the given distance to the plot centre. Different variations of this approach are tested by modelling timber volume in national forest inventory plots in Germany. The results are compared to those achieved using fixed-radius plots. A root mean square error of approximately 42% is achieved by both the new and fixed-radius approaches. Therefore, the new approach is not yet considered sufficient for overcoming all difficulties concerning the integration of ACS plot and RS data. However, possibilities for improvement are discussed and will be the subject of further research. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; forest inventory; angle count sampling; timber volume modelling; aerial images; digital surface models; canopy height models remote sensing; forest inventory; angle count sampling; timber volume modelling; aerial images; digital surface models; canopy height models
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Kirchhoefer, M.; Schumacher, J.; Adler, P.; Kändler, G. Considerations towards a Novel Approach for Integrating Angle-Count Sampling Data in Remote Sensing Based Forest Inventories. Forests 2017, 8, 239.

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