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Acquisition of Forest Attributes for Decision Support at the Forest Enterprise Level Using Remote-Sensing Techniques—A Review

Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Praha, Czech Republic
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Forests 2019, 10(3), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030273
Received: 10 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Landscape Management: From Data to Decision)
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Abstract

In recent decades, remote sensing techniques and the associated hardware and software have made substantial improvements. With satellite images that can obtain sub-meter spatial resolution, and new hardware, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles and systems, there are many emerging opportunities for improved data acquisition, including variable temporal and spectral resolutions. Combined with the evolution of techniques for aerial remote sensing, such as full wave laser scanners, hyperspectral scanners, and aerial radar sensors, the potential to incorporate this new data in forest management is enormous. Here we provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art remote sensing techniques for large forest areas thousands or tens of thousands of hectares. We examined modern remote sensing techniques used to obtain forest data that are directly applicable to decision making issues, and we provided a general overview of the types of data that can be obtained using remote sensing. The most easily accessible forest variable described in many works is stand or tree height, followed by other inventory variables like basal area, tree number, diameters, and volume, which are crucial in decision making process, especially for thinning and harvest planning, and timber transport optimization. Information about zonation and species composition are often described as more difficult to assess; however, this information usually is not required on annual basis. Counts of studies on forest health show an increasing trend in the last years, mostly in context of availability of new sensors as well as increased forest vulnerability caused by climate change; by virtue to modern sensors interesting methods were developed for detection of stressed or damaged trees. Unexpectedly few works focus on regeneration and seedlings evaluation; though regenerated stands should be regularly monitored in order to maintain forest cover sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; forest enterprise; forest attributes; forest health; satellite imagery; aerial imagery; aerial laser scanner; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) remote sensing; forest enterprise; forest attributes; forest health; satellite imagery; aerial imagery; aerial laser scanner; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
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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Surový, P.; Kuželka, K. Acquisition of Forest Attributes for Decision Support at the Forest Enterprise Level Using Remote-Sensing Techniques—A Review. Forests 2019, 10, 273.

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