Skip to main content

Identification of Scandinavian Commercial Species of Individual Trees from Airborne Laser Scanning Data Using Alpha Shape Metrics

Buy Article:

$21.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Airborne laser scanning (ALS) data are not usually considered to be very informative with respect to tree species, and this information is often obtained by combining such data with spectral image material. The aim here was to test the ability of variables derived solely from ALS data to describe the crown shape and structure characteristics required for tree species discrimination. For that purpose, we constructed tree crown approximations from the three-dimensional return data by applying a computational geometry approach, the alpha shape concept, and developed metrics for describing them. We examined the ability of these metrics to classify Scandinavian commercial species (pine, spruce, and deciduous trees) by means of linear discriminant analysis and compared the alpha shape metrics with groups of ALS-based height, density, intensity, and two-dimensional texture variables. For evaluating the classification accuracy, we used a test data set composed of 92 dominant or codominant trees detected and delineated manually from ALS data with a density of approximately 40 returns m−2. The alpha shape metrics proved capable of discriminating between all three species classes evaluated, and several height distribution and texture variables were found to discriminate between the coniferous tree species. An overall accuracy of approximately 95% and a  coefficient of 0.90 was achieved using a combination of the variables. Because this initial application of the alpha shape metrics was carried out using a test data set on only such trees that are clearly detectable from remotely sensed data, further research is required to apply the approach presented here within stands with a continuous canopy. Furthermore, as the tree observations considered here were highly biased toward mature coniferous trees, experiments using more representative data sets are needed to generalize the result obtained.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: airborne laser scanning; alpha shape; intensity; light detection and ranging (LiDAR); texture; tree species classification

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Important Notice: SAF's journals are now published through partnership with the Oxford University Press. Access to archived material will be available here on the Ingenta website until March 31, 2018. For new material, please access the journals via OUP's website. Note that access via Ingenta will be permanently discontinued after March 31, 2018. Members requiring support to access SAF's journals via OUP's site should contact SAF's membership department for assistance.

    Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
  • Submit a Paper
  • Membership Information
  • Author Guidelines
  • Podcasts
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more