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The relationship between the biomass of Cameroonian tropical forests and radiation reflected in middle infrared wavelengths (3.0-5.0 mu m)

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The use of middle infrared (MIR) radiation (3.0-5.0 mu m) at the regional scale may be unreliable for biophysical estimation, should be corrected for thermal emission and MIR reflectance used in its place. This study considered the potential use of MIR reflectance for studying tropical forests, with the relationship between MIR reflectance and estimated total biomass of the tropical forests of Cameroon derived. Comparisons were drawn with relationships between estimated total biomass and visible reflectance, near infrared reflectance, MIR radiation and surface temperature. Relationships between two vegetation indices, the NDVI and VI3, and estimated total biomass were also explored. It was found that correcting MIR radiation for thermal emission increased the strength of the relationship between radiation acquired in MIR wavelengths and estimated total biomass. The use of MIR reflectance, either alone or within the vegetation index VI3, provided the strongest relationship with estimated total biomass. This suggests that MIR reflectance may be more sensitive to changes in forest properties than the reflectance in visible and NIR wavelengths. It is recommended that MIR reflectance should be adopted more widely for the remote sensing of tropical forests.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 20, 1999

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