Determination of Mean Tree Height of Forest Stands by Digital Photogrammetry

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Abstract:

The mean tree height of 73 forest stands in a 1000 ha forest area was determined from canopy heights generated by automatic image matching using a digital photogrammetric workstation and digitized panchromatic aerial photographs with a scale of 1:15 000. First, the mean height of each stand was computed as the arithmetic mean of the quantile corresponding to the 75th percentile of the distribution of the canopy heights from the image matching within square grid cells with cell sizes of 236-400 m2. The mean heights from the image matching underestimated the true heights by 5.42 m. Secondly, field-measured mean tree heights of 165 georeferenced sample plots distributed systematically throughout the 1000 ha forest area were regressed against the mean heights derived from the image matching. The regression equations were used to predict the mean heights of the 73 stands. In very young forest stands, the predicted mean heights overestimated the true heights by 0.4 m and the precision was 0.9-1.0 m. In young and mature stands, the average difference between predicted height and ground-truth ranged between -1.6 and 0.5 m, and the precision ranged from 1.1 to 2.1 m.

Keywords: DIGITAL; FOREST; HEIGHTS; INVENTORY; PHOTOGRAMMETRY; TREE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/028275802320435469

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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