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Mapping Global Forest Aboveground Biomass with Spaceborne LiDAR, Optical Imagery, and Forest Inventory Data

by Tianyu Hu 1,†, Yanjun Su 1,2,†, Baolin Xue 1, Jin Liu 1, Xiaoqian Zhao 1, Jingyun Fang 1,3 and Qinghua Guo 1,2,*
State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
Sierra Nevada Research Institute, School of Engineering, University of California at Merced, Merced, CA 95343, USA
Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Nicolas Baghdadi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(7), 565;
Received: 28 February 2016 / Revised: 25 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 4 July 2016
As a large carbon pool, global forest ecosystems are a critical component of the global carbon cycle. Accurate estimations of global forest aboveground biomass (AGB) can improve the understanding of global carbon dynamics and help to quantify anthropogenic carbon emissions. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) techniques have been proven that can accurately capture both horizontal and vertical forest structures and increase the accuracy of forest AGB estimation. In this study, we mapped the global forest AGB density at a 1-km resolution through the integration of ground inventory data, optical imagery, Geoscience Laser Altimeter System/Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite data, climate surfaces, and topographic data. Over 4000 ground inventory records were collected from published literatures to train the forest AGB estimation model and validate the resulting global forest AGB product. Our wall-to-wall global forest AGB map showed that the global forest AGB density was 210.09 Mg/ha on average, with a standard deviation of 109.31 Mg/ha. At the continental level, Africa (333.34 ± 63.80 Mg/ha) and South America (301.68 ± 67.43 Mg/ha) had higher AGB density. The AGB density in Asia, North America and Europe were 172.28 ± 94.75, 166.48 ± 84.97, and 132.97 ± 50.70 Mg/ha, respectively. The wall-to-wall forest AGB map was evaluated at plot level using independent plot measurements. The adjusted coefficient of determination (R2) and root-mean-square error (RMSE) between our predicted results and the validation plots were 0.56 and 87.53 Mg/ha, respectively. At the ecological zone level, the R2 and RMSE between our map and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested values were 0.56 and 101.21 Mg/ha, respectively. Moreover, a comprehensive comparison was also conducted between our forest AGB map and other published regional AGB products. Overall, our forest AGB map showed good agreements with these regional AGB products, but some of the regional AGB products tended to underestimate forest AGB density. View Full-Text
Keywords: global; forest; aboveground biomass; remote sensing; LiDAR global; forest; aboveground biomass; remote sensing; LiDAR
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Hu, T.; Su, Y.; Xue, B.; Liu, J.; Zhao, X.; Fang, J.; Guo, Q. Mapping Global Forest Aboveground Biomass with Spaceborne LiDAR, Optical Imagery, and Forest Inventory Data. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 565.

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