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Open AccessArticle

Can Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) and Forest Estimates Derived from Satellite Images Be Used to Predict Abundance and Species Richness of Birds and Beetles in Boreal Forest?

1
Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Vienna University of Technology, Research Groups Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Gußhausstraße 27–29, 1040 Vienna, Austria
2
Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 901 83 Umeå, Sweden
3
Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 901 83 Umeå, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Heiko Balzter, Norbert Pfeifer, András Zlinszky, Hermann Heilmeier, Bernhard Höfle, Bálint Czúcz and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2015, 7(4), 4233-4252; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs70404233
Received: 10 December 2014 / Revised: 22 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 9 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and GIS for Habitat Quality Monitoring)
In managed landscapes, conservation planning requires effective methods to identify high-biodiversity areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of airborne laser scanning (ALS) and forest estimates derived from satellite images extracted at two spatial scales for predicting the stand-scale abundance and species richness of birds and beetles in a managed boreal forest landscape. Multiple regression models based on forest data from a 50-m radius (i.e., corresponding to a homogenous forest stand) had better explanatory power than those based on a 200-m radius (i.e., including also parts of adjacent stands). Bird abundance and species richness were best explained by the ALS variables “maximum vegetation height” and “vegetation cover between 0.5 and 3 m” (both positive). Flying beetle abundance and species richness, as well as epigaeic (i.e., ground-living) beetle richness were best explained by a model including the ALS variable “maximum vegetation height” (positive) and the satellite-derived variable “proportion of pine” (negative). Epigaeic beetle abundance was best explained by “maximum vegetation height” at 50 m (positive) and “stem volume” at 200 m (positive). Our results show that forest estimates derived from satellite images and ALS data provide complementary information for explaining forest biodiversity patterns. We conclude that these types of remote sensing data may provide an efficient tool for conservation planning in managed boreal landscapes. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity hot spot; LiDAR; ALS; kNN; epigaeic beetles, birds; beetles; boreal forest biodiversity hot spot; LiDAR; ALS; kNN; epigaeic beetles, birds; beetles; boreal forest
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lindberg, E.; Roberge, J.-M.; Johansson, T.; Hjältén, J. Can Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) and Forest Estimates Derived from Satellite Images Be Used to Predict Abundance and Species Richness of Birds and Beetles in Boreal Forest? Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 4233-4252.

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