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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(1), 9; doi:10.3390/rs8010009

Spatially-Explicit Testing of a General Aboveground Carbon Density Estimation Model in a Western Amazonian Forest Using Airborne LiDAR

1
Gestión de Investigación y Desarrollo, Instituto Geográfico Militar, Seniergues E4-676 y Gral, Telmo Paz y Miño, El Dorado 170403, Quito, Ecuador
2
Technical University of Madrid (UPM), C/Ramiro de Maeztu, 7, Madrid 28040, Spain
3
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
4
Laboratorio de Ecología de Plantas, Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Apartado 17-01-2184, Quito, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nicolas Baghdadi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 24 September 2015 / Revised: 20 November 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1885 KB, uploaded 30 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

Mapping aboveground carbon density in tropical forests can support CO2 emission monitoring and provide benefits for national resource management. Although LiDAR technology has been shown to be useful for assessing carbon density patterns, the accuracy and generality of calibrations of LiDAR-based aboveground carbon density (ACD) predictions with those obtained from field inventory techniques should be intensified in order to advance tropical forest carbon mapping. Here we present results from the application of a general ACD estimation model applied with small-footprint LiDAR data and field-based estimates of a 50-ha forest plot in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park. Subplots used for calibration and validation of the general LiDAR equation were selected based on analysis of topographic position and spatial distribution of aboveground carbon stocks. The results showed that stratification of plot locations based on topography can improve the calibration and application of ACD estimation using airborne LiDAR (R2 = 0.94, RMSE = 5.81 Mg·C·ha−1, BIAS = 0.59). These results strongly suggest that a general LiDAR-based approach can be used for mapping aboveground carbon stocks in western lowland Amazonian forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: aboveground carbon density; biomass; Ecuador; LiDAR; topographic features; tropical rainforest aboveground carbon density; biomass; Ecuador; LiDAR; topographic features; 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

Molina, P.X.; Asner, G.P.; Farjas Abadía, M.; Ojeda Manrique, J.C.; Sánchez Diez, L.A.; Valencia, R. Spatially-Explicit Testing of a General Aboveground Carbon Density Estimation Model in a Western Amazonian Forest Using Airborne LiDAR. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 9.

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