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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(5), 388; doi:10.3390/rs8050388

Comparison of Canopy Volume Measurements of Scattered Eucalypt Farm Trees Derived from High Spatial Resolution Imagery and LiDAR

1
Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI), University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
2
Precision Agriculture Research Group and School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
3
Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Angela Lausch, Marco Heurich, Nicolas Baghdadi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 21 April 2016 / Accepted: 25 April 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Forest Health)
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Abstract

Studies estimating canopy volume are mostly based on laborious and time-consuming field measurements; hence, there is a need for easier and convenient means of estimation. Accordingly, this study investigated the use of remotely sensed data (WorldView-2 and LiDAR) for estimating tree height, canopy height and crown diameter, which were then used to infer the canopy volume of remnant eucalypt trees at the Newholme/Kirby ‘SMART’ farm in north-east New South Wales. A regression model was developed with field measurements, which was then applied to remote-sensing-based measurements. LiDAR estimates of tree dimensions were generally lower than the field measurements (e.g., 6.5% for tree height) although some of the parameters (such as tree height) may also be overestimated by the clinometer/rangefinder protocols used. The WorldView-2 results showed both crown projected area and crown diameter to be strongly correlated to canopy volume, and that crown diameter yielded better results (Root Mean Square Error RMSE 31%) than crown projected area (RMSE 42%). Although the better performance of LiDAR in the vertical dimension cannot be dismissed, as suggested by results obtained from this study and also similar studies conducted with LiDAR data for tree parameter measurements, the high price and complexity associated with the acquisition and processing of LiDAR datasets mean that the technology is beyond the reach of many applications. Therefore, given the need for easier and convenient means of tree parameters estimation, this study filled a gap and successfully used 2D multispectral WorldView-2 data for 3D canopy volume estimation with satisfactory results compared to LiDAR-based estimation. The result obtained from this study highlights the usefulness of high resolution data for canopy volume estimations at different locations as a possible alternative to existing methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: LiDAR; canopy volume; farmscape LiDAR; canopy volume; farmscape
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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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Verma, N.K.; Lamb, D.W.; Reid, N.; Wilson, B. Comparison of Canopy Volume Measurements of Scattered Eucalypt Farm Trees Derived from High Spatial Resolution Imagery and LiDAR. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 388.

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