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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(1), 788-807; doi:10.3390/rs70100788

Modeling Aboveground Biomass in Dense Tropical Submontane Rainforest Using Airborne Laser Scanner Data

1
Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway
2
Department of Forest Mensuration and Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3013, Chuo Kikuu, Morogoro, Tanzania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lars T. Waser and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 7 January 2015 / Published: 14 January 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [11229 KB, uploaded 14 January 2015]   |  

Abstract

Successful implementation of projects under the REDD+ mechanism, securing payment for storing forest carbon as an ecosystem service, requires quantification of biomass. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) is a relevant technology to enhance estimates of biomass in tropical forests. We present the analysis and results of modeling aboveground biomass (AGB) in a Tanzanian rainforest utilizing data from a small-footprint ALS system and 153 field plots with an area of 0.06–0.12 ha located on a systematic grid. The study area is dominated by steep terrain, a heterogeneous forest structure and large variation in AGB densities with values ranging from 43 to 1147 Mg·ha−1, which goes beyond the range that has been reported in existing literature on biomass modeling with ALS data in the tropics. Root mean square errors from a 10-fold cross-validation of estimated values were about 33% of a mean value of 462 Mg·ha−1. Texture variables derived from a canopy surface model did not result in improved models. Analyses showed that (1) variables derived from echoes in the lower parts of the canopy and (2) canopy density variables explained more of the AGB density than variables representing the height of the canopy. View Full-Text
Keywords: aboveground biomass; airborne laser scanning; canopy surface; LiDAR; texture variables; tropical rainforest aboveground biomass; airborne laser scanning; canopy surface; LiDAR; texture variables; tropical rainforest
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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

Hansen, E.H.; Gobakken, T.; Bollandsås, O.M.; Zahabu, E.; Næsset, E. Modeling Aboveground Biomass in Dense Tropical Submontane Rainforest Using Airborne Laser Scanner Data. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 788-807.

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