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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(8), 893; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11080893

Analysis of Using Dense Image Matching Techniques to Study the Process of Secondary Succession in Non-Forest Natura 2000 Habitats

1
Department of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Systems, Faculty of Geodesy and Cartography, Warsaw University of Technology, 00-661 Warsaw, Poland
2
Department of Geobotany and Plant Ecology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, 90-237 Lodz, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Habitat Mapping)
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Abstract

Secondary succession is considered a threat to non-forest Natura 2000 habitats. Currently available data and techniques such as airborne laser scanning (ALS) data processing can be used to study this process. Thanks to these techniques, information about the spatial extent and the height of research objects—trees and shrubs—can be obtained. However, only archival aerial photographs can be used to conduct analyses of the stage of succession process that took place in the 1960s or 1970s. On their basis, the extent of trees and shrubs can be determined using photointerpretation, but height information requires stereoscopic measurements. State-of-the-art dense image matching (DIM) algorithms provide the ability to automate this process and create digital surface models (DSMs) that are much more detailed than ones obtained using image matching techniques developed a dozen years ago. This research was part of the HabitARS project on the Ostoja Olsztyńsko-Mirowska Natura 2000 protected site (PLH240015). The source data included archival aerial photographs (analogue and digital) acquired from various phenological periods from 1971–2015, ALS data from 2016, and data from botanical campaigns. First, using the DIM algorithms, point clouds were generated and converted to DSMs. Heights interpolated from the DSMs were compared with stereoscopic measurements (1971–2012) and ALS data (2016). Then, the effectiveness of tree and shrub detection was analysed, considering the relationship between the date and the parameters of aerial images acquisition and DIM effects. The results showed that DIM can be used successfully in tree and shrub detection and monitoring, but the source images must meet certain conditions related to their quality. Based on the extensive material analysed, the detection of small trees and shrubs in aerial photographs must have a scale greater than 1:13,000 or a 25 cm GSD (Ground Sample Distance) at most, an image acquisition date from June–September (the period of full foliage in Poland), and good radiometric quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: habitat threats; secondary succession; tree detection; dense image matching; archival aerial photographs; DSM; LIDAR habitat threats; secondary succession; tree detection; dense image matching; archival aerial photographs; DSM; LIDAR
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Osińska-Skotak, K.; Jełowicki, Ł.; Bakuła, K.; Michalska-Hejduk, D.; Wylazłowska, J.; Kopeć, D. Analysis of Using Dense Image Matching Techniques to Study the Process of Secondary Succession in Non-Forest Natura 2000 Habitats. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 893.

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