Comparing statistical techniques to classify the structure of mountain forest stands using CHM-derived metrics in Trento province (Italy) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/1j92gc311

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  • In some cases a canopy height model (CHM) is the only available source of forest height information. For these cases it is important to understand the predictive power of CHM data for forest attributes. In this study we examined the use of lidar-derived CHM metrics to predict forest structure classes according to the amount of basal area present in understory, midstory, and overstory trees. We evaluated two approaches to predict size-based forest classifications: in the first, we attempted supervised classification with both linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and random forest (RF); in the second, we predicted basal areas of lower, mid, and upper canopy trees from CHM-derived variables by k-nearest neighbour imputation (k-NN) and parametric regression, and then classified observations based on their predicted basal areas. We used leave-one-out cross-validation to evaluate our ability to predict forest structure classes from CHM data and in the case of prediction-based classification approach we look at the performances in predicting basal area. The strategies proved moderately successful with a best overall classification accuracy of 41% in the case of LDA. In general, we were most successful in predicting the basal areas of small and large trees (R² respectively of 71% and 69% in the case of k-NN imputation).
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  • Torresan, C. L., Strunk, J., Zald, H. S. J., Zhiqiang, Y., & Cohen, W. B. (2014). Comparing statistical techniques to classify the structure of mountain forest stands using CHM-derived metrics in Trento province (Italy). European Journal of Remote Sensing, 47, 75-94. doi:10.5721/EuJRS20144706
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