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Remote Sens. 2012, 4(5), 1411-1424; doi:10.3390/rs4051411
Article

Improving the Precision of Tree Counting by Combining Tree Detection with Crown Delineation and Classification on Homogeneity Guided Smoothed High Resolution (50 cm) Multispectral Airborne Digital Data

1,*  and 2
Received: 28 March 2012 / Revised: 4 May 2012 / Accepted: 5 May 2012 / Published: 14 May 2012
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Abstract

A method of counting the number of coniferous trees by species within forest compartments was developed by combining an individual tree crown delineation technique with a treetop detection technique, using high spatial resolution optical sensor data. When this method was verified against field data from the Shinshu University Campus Forest composed of various cover types, the accuracy for the total number of trees per stand was higher than 84%. This shows improvements over the individual tree crown delineation technique alone which had accuracies lower than 62%, or the treetop detection technique alone which had accuracies lower than 78%. However, the accuracy of the number of trees classified by species was less than 84%. The total number of trees by species per stand was improved with exclusion of the understory species and ranged from 45.2% to 93.8% for Chamaecyparis obtusa and C. pisifera and from 37.9% to 98.1% for broad-leaved trees because many of these were understory species. The better overall results are attributable primarily to the overestimation of Pinus densiflora, Larix kaempferi and broad-leaved trees compensating for the underestimation of C. obtusa and C. pisifera. Practical forest management can be enhanced by registering the output resulting from this technology in a forest geographical information system database. This approach is mostly useful for conifer plantations containing medium to old age trees, which have a higher timber value.
Keywords: forest resource management; individual tree crown; tree counting method forest resource management; individual tree crown; tree counting method
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.

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Katoh, M.; Gougeon, F.A. Improving the Precision of Tree Counting by Combining Tree Detection with Crown Delineation and Classification on Homogeneity Guided Smoothed High Resolution (50 cm) Multispectral Airborne Digital Data. Remote Sens. 2012, 4, 1411-1424.

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