A Model-Based Approach for Airborne Laser Scanning Inventory: Application for Square Grid Spatial Pattern
Abstract:Height of canopy surface can be defined as the distance from the ground level to the top of the canopy. Returns collected by airborne light detection and ranging instruments (airborne laser scanning [ALS]) are essentially observations of this height. In an earlier study we showed how the probability of having the canopy surface above a given height depends on the stand density, the tree heights, the characteristics of individual crowns, and the spatial pattern of tree locations. This work provided a theory to analyze the distribution of ALS observations. This study continues our earlier work, proposing a method to estimate stand density and tree height distribution using observations of canopy height in a stand with a square grid pattern of tree locations, which is typical in plantation forests. The fitting method is based on maximum likelihood, providing means for statistical inference on the estimates. A simulation study indicated good performance potential. An example fit to a laser-scanned Norway spruce sample plot indicated that the model might be applicable also to managed stands, which do not exactly follow the assumed grid pattern. A comparison with our earlier model, based on random tree locations, is presented to demonstrate the effects of the spatial pattern on the distribution of canopy heights and on the estimated characteristics.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-04-02
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