Comparison of Canopy Volume Measurements of Scattered Eucalypt Farm Trees Derived from High Spatial Resolution Imagery and LiDAR

Niva Verma, David Lamb, Nick Reid, Brian Wilson
2016 Remote Sensing  
Studies estimating canopy volume are mostly based on laborious and time-consuming field measurements; hence, there is a need for easier and convenient means of estimation. Accordingly, this study investigated the use of remotely sensed data (WorldView-2 and LiDAR) for estimating tree height, canopy height and crown diameter, which were then used to infer the canopy volume of remnant eucalypt trees at the Newholme/Kirby 'SMART' farm in north-east New South Wales. A regression model was developed
more » ... with field measurements, which was then applied to remote-sensing-based measurements. LiDAR estimates of tree dimensions were generally lower than the field measurements (e.g., 6.5% for tree height) although some of the parameters (such as tree height) may also be overestimated by the clinometer/rangefinder protocols used. The WorldView-2 results showed both crown projected area and crown diameter to be strongly correlated to canopy volume, and that crown diameter yielded better results (Root Mean Square Error RMSE 31%) than crown projected area (RMSE 42%). Although the better performance of LiDAR in the vertical dimension cannot be dismissed, as suggested by results obtained from this study and also similar studies conducted with LiDAR data for tree parameter measurements, the high price and complexity associated with the acquisition and processing of LiDAR datasets mean that the technology is beyond the reach of many applications. Therefore, given the need for easier and convenient means of tree parameters estimation, this study filled a gap and successfully used 2D multispectral WorldView-2 data for 3D canopy volume estimation with satisfactory results compared to LiDAR-based estimation. The result obtained from this study highlights the usefulness of high resolution data for canopy volume estimations at different locations as a possible alternative to existing methods.
doi:10.3390/rs8050388 fatcat:pb6gnrmi4bd77mhv6eux2hr73y