Segmentation of individual tree crowns in colour aerial photographs using region growing supported by fuzzy rules

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Abstract:

A method based on region growing for segmentation of tree crowns in aerial photographs is presented. By using a decision function, for including a pixel or not, in the spatial domain and in the colour domain simultaneously, the irregular contour of the tree crowns is kept in the segmentation result. Thus, contour information may be subsequently used for tree species classification. A set of possible candidate regions for each tree is evaluated, and the best region, according to a measure, is selected. The method is evaluated on a large sample of high spatial resolution aerial images in central Sweden. Almost 15 ha of natural regenerated boreal forests are included in the image material. On average, the identification of 73% of the tree crowns is in agreement with the corresponding results from the manual delineations. The estimation of the total number of stems from the 30 test images is 93% of the value obtained from the manual count.

Nous présentons une méthode, basée sur la fusion de région, visant à segmenter la cîme des arbres sur des photographies aériennes. En utilisant une fonction de décision, pour inclure ou non un pixel, qui tient compte simultanément du domaine spatial et de l'espace des couleurs, le contour irrégulier de la cîme des arbres est conservé par la segmentation. L'information sur le contour peut donc être utilisée a posteriori pour la classification des espèces d'arbres. Un ensemble de régions candidates est étudié pour chaque arbre, et la meilleure région est sélectionnée selon un critère donné. La méthode est testée sur un large échantillon d'images à haute résolution spatiale prises au centre de la Suède. Presque 15 hectares de forêt boréale naturellement régénérée sont inclus dans cette étude. En moyenne, 73 % des cîmes sont identifiées en accord avec les résultats de la délimitation manuelle. L'estimation du nombre total de tiges dans les 30 images testées représente 93 % de la valeur obtenue avec le décompte manuel.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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