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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(7), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9070702

Estimating Mangrove Canopy Height and Above-Ground Biomass in the Everglades National Park with Airborne LiDAR and TanDEM-X Data

1
Department of Marine Geosciences, University of Miami—Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
2
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
3
Universities Space Research Association, 7178 Columbia Gateway Dr., Columbia, MD 21046, USA
4
Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th Street, AHC5-388, Miami, FL 33199, USA
5
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, 130 Mulford Hall #3114 Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
6
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, 2181 Samuel J. LeFrak Hall, 7251 Preinkert Dr., College Park, MD 20742, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Mangrove forests are important natural ecosystems due to their ability to capture and store large amounts of carbon. Forest structural parameters, such as canopy height and above-ground biomass (AGB), provide a good measure for monitoring temporal changes in carbon content. The protected coastal mangrove forest of the Everglades National Park (ENP) provides an ideal location for studying these processes, as harmful human activities are minimal. We estimated mangrove canopy height and AGB in the ENP using Airborne LiDAR/Laser (ALS) and TanDEM-X (TDX) datasets acquired between 2011 and 2013. Analysis of both datasets revealed that mangrove canopy height can reach up to ~25 m and AGB can reach up to ~250 Mg•ha−1. In general, mangroves ranging from 9 m to 12 m in stature dominate the forest canopy. The comparison of ALS and TDX canopy height observations yielded an R2 = 0.85 and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) = 1.96 m. Compared to a previous study based on data acquired during 2000–2004, our analysis shows an increase in mangrove stature and AGB, suggesting that ENP mangrove forests are continuing to accumulate biomass. Our results suggest that ENP mangrove forests have managed to recover from natural disturbances, such as Hurricane Wilma. View Full-Text
Keywords: mangroves; LiDAR; TanDEM-X; canopy height; above-ground biomass; forest structure mangroves; LiDAR; TanDEM-X; canopy height; above-ground biomass; forest structure
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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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Feliciano, E.A.; Wdowinski, S.; Potts, M.D.; Lee, S.-K.; Fatoyinbo, T.E. Estimating Mangrove Canopy Height and Above-Ground Biomass in the Everglades National Park with Airborne LiDAR and TanDEM-X Data. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 702.

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