Testing two applications of image analysis for use in species-independent biomass equations for western Oregon forests Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bc386p469

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  • Remote sensing technologies have proven useful and cost-efficient for quantifying various forest vegetation characteristics over multiple scales. However, significant limitations were encountered in each of two related experiments conducted to explore their potential to supplement or replace traditional, single-species biomass equations for estimation of ground vegetation and tree overstory on 1 to 3-ha forest plots. For ground vegetation, imaged and visual leaf-area estimates were combined with woody stem volume to develop eight, species-independent biomass equations on 1-rn2 plots. A relative efficiency index was calculated for each equation, based on its predictive power and time required for data collection and processing. Predictive power was increased when more explanatory variables were used, and was comparable to published equations. Efficiency was much higher m models using visual, rather than imaged estunates. For the overstory tree component, fractional proportions of shadow in aerial photographs of 21, 1 to 3 ha, closed-canopy mensuration plots were compared to tree biomass derived from ground surveys. No predictive relationship was found. I concluded that image shadow-fraction cannot be used as an indicator of tree biomass in forest stands after canopy closure has occurred. Recommendations for additional study are to continue refinement of the ground vegetation methods with the goal of improved efficiency, and more generally, to approach potentially costly remote sensing applications with a healthy measure of skepticism.
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