Remote Sens. 2012, 4(6), 1820-1855; doi:10.3390/rs4061820
Article

Species-Level Differences in Hyperspectral Metrics among Tropical Rainforest Trees as Determined by a Tree-Based Classifier

1,* email and 2email
Received: 3 May 2012; in revised form: 14 June 2012 / Accepted: 14 June 2012 / Published: 18 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biological Diversity)
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Abstract: This study explores a method to classify seven tropical rainforest tree species from full-range (400–2,500 nm) hyperspectral data acquired at tissue (leaf and bark), pixel and crown scales using laboratory and airborne sensors. Metrics that respond to vegetation chemistry and structure were derived using narrowband indices, derivative- and absorption-based techniques, and spectral mixture analysis. We then used the Random Forests tree-based classifier to discriminate species with minimally-correlated, importance-ranked metrics. At all scales, best overall accuracies were achieved with metrics derived from all four techniques and that targeted chemical and structural properties across the visible to shortwave infrared spectrum (400–2500 nm). For tissue spectra, overall accuracies were 86.8% for leaves, 74.2% for bark, and 84.9% for leaves plus bark. Variation in tissue metrics was best explained by an axis of red absorption related to photosynthetic leaves and an axis distinguishing bark water and other chemical absorption features. Overall accuracies for individual tree crowns were 71.5% for pixel spectra, 70.6% crown-mean spectra, and 87.4% for a pixel-majority technique. At pixel and crown scales, tree structure and phenology at the time of image acquisition were important factors that determined species spectral separability.
Keywords: tropical rainforests; individual tree species classification; imaging spectroscopy; hyperspectral sensors; high spatial resolution; Random Forests; leaf and bark spectral properties
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Clark, M.L.; Roberts, D.A. Species-Level Differences in Hyperspectral Metrics among Tropical Rainforest Trees as Determined by a Tree-Based Classifier. Remote Sens. 2012, 4, 1820-1855.

AMA Style

Clark ML, Roberts DA. Species-Level Differences in Hyperspectral Metrics among Tropical Rainforest Trees as Determined by a Tree-Based Classifier. Remote Sensing. 2012; 4(6):1820-1855.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Clark, Matthew L.; Roberts, Dar A. 2012. "Species-Level Differences in Hyperspectral Metrics among Tropical Rainforest Trees as Determined by a Tree-Based Classifier." Remote Sens. 4, no. 6: 1820-1855.


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