Browsing by Subject "AIRBORNE"

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  • Luoma, Ville; Saarinen, Ninni; Wulder, Michael A.; White, Joanne C.; Vastaranta, Mikko; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppä, Juha (2017)
    Forest resource information has a hierarchical structure: individual tree attributes are summed at the plot level and then in turn, plot-level estimates are used to derive stand or large-area estimates of forest resources. Due to this hierarchy, it is imperative that individual tree attributes are measured with accuracy and precision. With the widespread use of different measurement tools, it is also important to understand the expected degree of precision associated with these measurements. The most prevalent tree attributes measured in the field are tree species, stem diameter-at-breast-height (dbh), and tree height. For dbh and height, the most commonly used measuring devices are calipers and clinometers, respectively. The aim of our study was to characterize the precision of individual tree dbh and height measurements in boreal forest conditions when using calipers and clinometers. The data consisted of 319 sample trees at a study area in Evo, southern Finland. The sample trees were measured independently by four trained mensurationists. The standard deviation in tree dbh and height measurements was 0.3 cm (1.5%) and 0.5 m (2.9%), respectively. Precision was also assessed by tree species and tree size classes; however, there were no statistically significant differences between the mensurationists for dbh or height measurements. Our study offers insights into the expected precision of tree dbh and height as measured with the most commonly used devices. These results are important when using sample plot data in forest inventory applications, especially now, at a time when new tree attribute measurement techniques based on remote sensing are being developed and compared to the conventional caliper and clinometer measurements.
  • Sabater, Neus; Vicent, Jorge; Alonso, Luis; Verrelst, Jochem; Middleton, Elizabeth M.; Porcar-Castell, Albert; Moreno, José (2018)
    Estimates of Sun-Induced vegetation chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF) using remote sensing techniques are commonly determined by exploiting solar and/or telluric absorption features. When SIF is retrieved in the strong oxygen (O) absorption features, atmospheric effects must always be compensated. Whereas correction of atmospheric effects is a standard airborne or satellite data processing step, there is no consensus regarding whether it is required for SIF proximal-sensing measurements nor what is the best strategy to be followed. Thus, by using simulated data, this work provides a comprehensive analysis about how atmospheric effects impact SIF estimations on proximal sensing, regarding: (1) the sensor height above the vegetated canopy; (2) the SIF retrieval technique used, e.g., Fraunhofer Line Discriminator (FLD) family or Spectral Fitting Methods (SFM); and (3) the instrument's spectral resolution. We demonstrate that for proximal-sensing scenarios compensating for atmospheric effects by simply introducing the O transmittance function into the FLD or SFM formulations improves SIF estimations. However, these simplistic corrections still lead to inaccurate SIF estimations due to the multiplication of spectrally convolved atmospheric transfer functions with absorption features. Consequently, a more rigorous oxygen compensation strategy is proposed and assessed by following a classic airborne atmospheric correction scheme adapted to proximal sensing. This approach allows compensating for the O absorption effects and, at the same time, convolving the high spectral resolution data according to the corresponding Instrumental Spectral Response Function (ISRF) through the use of an atmospheric radiative transfer model. Finally, due to the key role of O absorption on the evaluated proximal-sensing SIF retrieval strategies, its dependency on surface pressure (p) and air temperature (T) was also assessed. As an example, we combined simulated spectral data with p and T measurements obtained for a one-year period in the Hyytiala Forestry Field Station in Finland. Of importance hereby is that seasonal dynamics in terms of T and p, if not appropriately considered as part of the retrieval strategy, can result in erroneous SIF seasonal trends that mimic those of known dynamics for temperature-dependent physiological responses of vegetation.
  • Kansanen, Kasper; Vauhkonen, Jari; Lahivaara, Timo; Seppanen, Aku; Maltamo, Matti; Mehtatalo, Lauri (2019)
    Errors in individual tree detection and delineation affect diameter distribution predictions based on crown attributes extracted from the detected trees. We develop a methodology for circumventing these problems. The method is based on matching cumulative distribution functions of field measured tree diameter distributions and crown radii distributions extracted from airborne laser scanning data through individual tree detection presented by Vauhkonen and Mehtatalo (2015). In this study, empirical distribution functions and a monotonic, nonlinear model curve are introduced. Tree crown radius distribution produced by individual tree detection is corrected by a method taking into account that all trees cannot be detected. The evaluation is based on the ability of the developed model sequence to predict quadratic mean diameter and total basal area. The studied data consists of 36 field plots in a typical boreal managed forest area in eastern Finland. The suggested enhancements to the model sequence produce improved results in most of the test cases. Most notably, in leaveone-out cross-validation experiments the modified models improve RMSE of basal area 13% in the full data and RMSE of quadratic mean diameter and basal area 69% and 11%, respectively, in pure pine plots. Better modeling of the crown radius distribution and improved matching between crown radii and stem diameters add the operational premises of the full distribution matching.
  • Vastaranta, Mikko; Latorre, Eduardo Gonzalez; Luoma, Ville; Saarinen, Ninni; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppä, Juha (2015)
    We evaluated a smartphone app (TRESTIMA(TM)) for forest sample plot measurements. The app interprets imagery collected from the sample plots using the camera in the smartphone and then estimates forest inventory attributes, including species-specific basal areas (G) as well as the diameter (D-gM) and height (H-gM) of basal area median trees. The estimates from the smartphone app were compared to forest inventory attributes derived from tree-wise measurements using calipers and a Vertex height measurement device. The data consist of 2169 measured trees from 25 sample plots (32 m x 32 m), dominated by Scots pine and Norway spruce from southern Finland. The root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) in the basal area varied from 19.7% to 29.3% and the biases from 11.4% to 18.4% depending on the number of images per sample plot and image shooting location. D-gM measurement bias varied from -1.4% to 3.1% and RMSE from 5.2% to 11.6% depending on the tree species. Respectively, H-gM bias varied from 5.0% to 8.3% and RMSE 10.0% to 13.6%. In general, four images captured toward the center of the plot provided more accurate results than four images captured away from the plot center. Increasing the number of captured images per plot to the analyses yielded only marginal improvement to the results.
  • Luoma, Ville; Saarinen, Ninni; Kankare, Ville; Tanhuanpaa, Topi; Kaartinen, Harri; Kukko, Antero; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppa, Juha; Vastaranta, Mikko (2019)
    Exact knowledge over tree growth is valuable information for decision makers when considering the purposes of sustainable forest management and planning or optimizing the use of timber, for example. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) can be used for measuring tree and forest attributes in very high detail. The study aims at characterizing changes in individual tree attributes (e.g., stem volume growth and taper) during a nine year-long study period in boreal forest conditions. TLS-based three-dimensional (3D) point cloud data were used for identifying and quantifying these changes. The results showed that observing changes in stem volume was possible from TLS point cloud data collected at two different time points. The average volume growth of sample trees was 0.226 m(3) during the study period, and the mean relative change in stem volume was 65.0%. In addition, the results of a pairwise Student's t-test gave strong support (p-value 0.0001) that the used method was able to detect tree growth within the nine-year period between 2008-2017. The findings of this study allow the further development of enhanced methods for TLS-based single tree and forest growth modeling and estimation, which can thus improve the accuracy of forest inventories and offer better tools for future decision-making processes.
  • Korpela, Ilkka; Haapanen, R.; Korrensalo, A.; Tuittila, E-S; Vesala, T. (2020)
    Boreal bogs are important stores and sinks of atmospheric carbon whose surfaces are characterised by vegetation microforms. Efficient methods for monitoring their vegetation are needed because changes in vegetation composition lead to alteration in their function such as carbon gas exchange with the atmosphere. We investigated how airborne image and waveform-recording LiDAR data can be used for 3D mapping of microforms in an open bog which is a mosaic of pools, hummocks with a few stunted pines, hollows, intermediate surfaces and mud-bottom hollows. The proposed method operates on the bog surface, which is reconstructed using LiDAR. The vegetation was classified at 20 cm resolution. We hypothesised that LiDAR data describe surface topography, moisture and the presence and depth of field-layer vegetation and surface roughness; while multiple images capture the colours and texture of the vegetation, which are influenced by directional reflectance effects. We conclude that geometric LiDAR features are efficient predictors of microforms. LiDAR intensity and echo width were specific to moisture and surface roughness, respectively. Directional reflectance constituted 4-34 % of the variance in images and its form was linked to the presence of the field layer. Microform-specific directional reflectance patterns were deemed to be of marginal value in enhancing the classification, and RGB image features were inferior to LiDAR variables. Sensor fusion is an attractive option for fine-scale mapping of these habitats. We discuss the task and propose options for improving the methodology.
  • Liang, Xinlian; Hyyppä, Juha; Kaartinen, Harri; Lehtomäki, Matti; Pyörälä, Jiri; Pfeifer, Norbert; Holopainen, Markus; Brolly, Gábor; Francesco, Pirotti; Hackenberg, Jan; Huang, Huabing; Jo, Hyun-Woo; Katoh, Masato; Liu, Luxia; Mokroš, Martin; Morel, Jules; Olofsson, Kenneth; Poveda-Lopez, Jose; Trochta, Jan; Wang, Di; Wang, Jinhu; Xi, Zhouxi; Yang, Bisheng; Zheng, Guang; Kankare, Ville; Luoma, Ville; Yu, Xiaowei; Chen, Liang; Vastaranta, Mikko; Saarinen, Ninni; Wang, Yunsheng (2018)
    The last two decades have witnessed increasing awareness of the potential of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) in forest applications in both public and commercial sectors, along with tremendous research efforts and progress. It is time to inspect the achievements of and the remaining barriers to TLS-based forest investigations, so further research and application are clearly orientated in operational uses of TLS. In such context, the international TLS benchmarking project was launched in 2014 by the European Spatial Data Research Organization and coordinated by the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute. The main objectives of this benchmarking study are to evaluate the potential of applying TLS in characterizing forests, to clarify the strengths and the weaknesses of TLS as a measure of forest digitization, and to reveal the capability of recent algorithms for tree-attribute extraction. The project is designed to benchmark the TLS algorithms by processing identical TLS datasets for a standardized set of forest attribute criteria and by evaluating the results through a common procedure respecting reliable references. Benchmarking results reflect large variances in estimating accuracies, which were unveiled through the 18 compared algorithms and through the evaluation framework, i.e., forest complexity categories, TLS data acquisition approaches, tree attributes and evaluation procedures. The evaluation framework includes three new criteria proposed in this benchmarking and the algorithm performances are investigated through combining two or more criteria (e.g., the accuracy of the individual tree attributes are inspected in conjunction with plot-level completeness) in order to reveal algorithms’ overall performance. The results also reveal some best available forest attribute estimates at this time, which clarify the status quo of TLS-based forest investigations. Some results are well expected, while some are new, e.g., the variances of estimating accuracies between single-/multi-scan, the principle of the algorithm designs and the possibility of a computer outperforming human operation. With single-scan data, i.e., one hemispherical scan per plot, most of the recent algorithms are capable of achieving stem detection with approximately 75% completeness and 90% correctness in the easy forest stands (easy plots: 600 stems/ha, 20 cm mean DBH). The detection rate decreases when the stem density increases and the average DBH decreases, i.e., 60% completeness with 90% correctness (medium plots: 1000 stem/ha, 15 cm mean DBH) and 30% completeness with 90% correctness (difficult plots: 2000 stems/ha, 10 cm mean DBH). The application of the multi-scan approach, i.e., five scans per plot at the center and four quadrant angles, is more effective in complex stands, increasing the completeness to approximately 90% for medium plots and to approximately 70% for difficult plots, with almost 100% correctness. The results of this benchmarking also show that the TLS-based approaches can provide the estimates of the DBH and the stem curve at a 1–2 cm accuracy that are close to what is required in practical applications, e.g., national forest inventories (NFIs). In terms of algorithm development, a high level of automation is a commonly shared standard, but a bottleneck occurs at stem detection and tree height estimation, especially in multilayer and dense forest stands. The greatest challenge is that even with the multi-scan approach, it is still hard to completely and accurately record stems of all trees in a plot due to the occlusion effects of the trees and bushes in forests. Future development must address the redundant yet incomplete point clouds of forest sample plots and recognize trees more accurately and efficiently. It is worth noting that TLS currently provides the best quality terrestrial point clouds in comparison with all other technologies, meaning that all the benchmarks labeled in this paper can also serve as a reference for other terrestrial point clouds sources.
  • Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Saarinen, Ninni; Kankare, Ville; Liang, Xinlian; Hyyppa, Juha; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2019)
    Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) has proven to accurately represent individual trees, while the use of TLS for plot-level forest characterization has been studied less. We used 91 sample plots to assess the feasibility of TLS in estimating plot-level forest inventory attributes, namely the stem number (N), basal area (G), and volume (V) as well as the basal area weighed mean diameter (D-g) and height (H-g). The effect of the sample plot size was investigated by using different-sized sample plots with a fixed scan set-up to also observe possible differences in the quality of point clouds. The Gini coefficient was used to measure the variation in tree size distribution at the plot-level to investigate the relationship between stand heterogeneity and the performance of the TLS-based method. Higher performances in tree detection and forest attribute estimation were recorded for sample plots with a low degree of tree size variation. The TLS-based approach captured 95% of the variation in H-g and V, 85% of the variation in D-g and G, and 67% of the variation in N. By increasing the sample plot size, the tree detection rate was decreased, and the accuracy of the estimates, especially G and N, decreased. This study emphasizes the feasibility of TLS-based approaches in plot-level forest inventories in varying southern boreal forest conditions.
  • Vastaranta, Mikko; Saarinen, Ninni; Kankare, Ville; Holopainen, Markus; Kaartinen, Harri; Hyyppa, Juha; Hyyppa, Hannu (2014)
  • Luoma, Ville; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Kankare, Ville; Saarinen, Ninni; Pyorala, Jiri; Kukko, Antero; Kaartinen, Harri; Hyyppa, Juha; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2021)
    Tree growth is a multidimensional process that is affected by several factors. There is a continuous demand for improved information on tree growth and the ecological traits controlling it. This study aims at providing new approaches to improve ecological understanding of tree growth by the means of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). Changes in tree stem form and stem volume allocation were investigated during a five-year monitoring period. In total, a selection of attributes from 736 trees from 37 sample plots representing different forest structures were extracted from taper curves derived from two-date TLS point clouds. The results of this study showed the capability of point cloud-based methods in detecting changes in the stem form and volume allocation. In addition, the results showed a significant difference between different forest structures in how relative stem volume and logwood volume increased during the monitoring period. Along with contributing to providing more accurate information for monitoring purposes in general, the findings of this study showed the ability and many possibilities of point cloud-based method to characterize changes in living organisms in particular, which further promote the feasibility of using point clouds as an observation method also in ecological studies.
  • Costa, Vicent Agusti Ribas; Durand, Maxime; Robson, T. Matthew; Porcar-Castell, Albert; Korpela, Ilkka; Atherton, Jon (2022)
    The plant area index (PAI) is a structural trait that succinctly parametrizes the foliage distribution of a canopy and is usually estimated using indirect optical techniques such as digital hemispherical photography. Critically, on-the-ground photographic measurements forgo the vertical variation of canopy structure which regulates the local light environment. Hence new approaches are sought for vertical sampling of traits. We present an uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) spherical photographic method to obtain structural traits throughout the depth of tree canopies. Our method explained 89% of the variation in PAI when compared with ground-based hemispherical photography. When comparing UAS vertical trait profiles with airborne laser scanning data, we found highest agreement in an open birch (Betula pendula/pubescens) canopy. Minor disagreement was found in dense spruce (Picea abies) stands, especially in the lower canopy. Our new method enables easy estimation of the vertical dimension of canopy structural traits in previously inaccessible spaces. The method is affordable and safe and therefore readily usable by plant scientists.