A Consumer Grade UAV-Based Framework to Estimate Structural Attributes of Coppice and High Oak Forest Stands in Semi-Arid Regions

Seyed Arvin Fakhri, Hooman Latifi
2021 Remote Sensing  
Semi-arid tree covers, in both high and coppice growth forms, play an essential role in protecting water and soil resources and provides multiple ecosystem services across fragile ecosystems. Thus, they require continuous inventories. Quantification of forest structure in these tree covers provides important measures for their management and biodiversity conservation. We present a framework, based on consumer-grade UAV photogrammetry, to separately estimate primary variables of tree height (H)
more » ... nd crown area (A) across diverse coppice and high stands dominated by Quercus brantii Lindl. along the latitudinal gradient of Zagros mountains of western Iran. Then, multivariate linear regressions were parametrized with H and A to estimate the diameter at breast height (DBH) of high trees because of its importance to accelerate the existing practical DBH inventories across Zagros Forests. The estimated variables were finally applied to a model tree aboveground biomass (AGB) for both vegetative growth forms by local allometric equations and Random Forest models. In each step, the estimated variables were evaluated against the field reference values, indicating practically high accuracies reaching root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.68 m and 4.74 cm for H and DBH, as well as relative RMSE < 10% for AGB estimates. The results generally suggest an effective framework for single tree-based attribute estimation over mountainous, semi-arid coppice, and high stands.
doi:10.3390/rs13214367 fatcat:gkgvgeacsbfwhn22zqgctmgpby