Browsing by Subject "aerial photography"

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  • Kulha, Niko Aleksi; Pasanen, Leena; Holmström, Lasse; Grandpre, Louis de; Kuuluvainen, Timo Tapio; Aakala, Tuomas (2019)
    Identifying the scales of variation in forest structures and the underlying processes are fundamental for understanding forest dynamics. Here, we studied these scale-dependencies in forest structure in naturally dynamic boreal forests on two continents. We identified the spatial scales at which forest structures varied, and analyzed how the scales of variation and the underlying drivers differed among the regions and at particular scales. We studied three 2kmx2km landscapes in northeastern Finland and two in eastern Canada. We estimated canopy cover in contiguous 0.1-ha cells from aerial photographs and used scale-derivative analysis to identify characteristic scales of variation in the canopy cover data. We analyzed the patterns of variation at these scales using Bayesian scale space analysis. We identified structural variation at three spatial scales in each landscape. Among landscapes, the largest scale of variation showed the greatest variability (20.1-321.4ha), related to topography, soil variability, and long-term disturbance history. Superimposed on this large-scale variation, forest structure varied at similar scales (1.3-2.8ha) in all landscapes. This variation correlated with recent disturbances, soil variability, and topographic position. We also detected intense variation at the smallest scale analyzed (0.1ha, grain of our data), partly driven by recent disturbances. The distinct scales of variation indicated hierarchical structure in the landscapes studied. Except for the large-scale variation, these scales were remarkably similar among the landscapes. This suggests that boreal forests may display characteristic scales of variation that occur somewhat independent of the tree species characteristics or the disturbance regime.
  • Jokinen, Ari-Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Glaciers and ice caps (GICs) excluding Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets account for large proportion of potential future sea level rise and are losing great amount of their mass in high confidence by 2100. Glacier elevation change observations covering whole Greenland’s GICs are limited to the 21st century and regional geodetic mass balance estimates are scarce. Recent development of photogrammetric software and rediscovery of old aerial photographs has been increasingly used to extend temporal resolution of glacier change studies. Besides for extended mass balance observations, historical photographs may be used in observing glacier surge events to improve their coverage in glacier inventories. In this study, 320 historical aerial photographs from 1953/1954 were photogrammetrically processed to create new digital elevation model (DEM) of the 1953 surface. Comparing the 1953 DEM with 1985 and 2016 DEMs extended the geodetic mass balance records on Nuussuaq peninsula to 63 years. Moreover, differenced DEMs were used with orthophotomosaics to identify glacier surface changes and advances and their possible relation to glacier surges. The study also explored the usage of Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM) with user defined input data for simulating future glacier changes in small scale regional setting. The geodetic mass balance results showed clear change from near equilibrium mass balance in 1953-1985 to overall mass loss in 1985-2016. Glacier surface lowering was found to shift to higher elevations along with the change to negative mass balance and occurred throughout the elevation range in 1985-2016. In contrast to generally retreating glaciers, advancing and/or surface elevation increases at the glacier fronts with glaciomorphological evidence of surging were observed on 5 glaciers. OGGM model is easily applicable for smaller regions but correcting the OGGM calibration with a fit to the geodetic mass balance data didn’t provide explicit result of the re-calibration efficiency. Historical photographs provide source to extend geodetic mass balance estimates and means to observe past glacier changes in more detail. Therefore, their incorporation in glacier change studies should be continued and create consistent datasets over larger regions. More research is needed with additional reference data to assess the reliability of the OGGM performance on a region without the reference data from default reference glacier network and the effect of re-calibrating with geodetic fit.
  • Kulha, Niko; Pasanen, Leena; Aakala, Tuomas (2018)
    Time series of repeat aerial photographs currently span decades in many regions. However, the lack of calibration data limits their use in forest change analysis. We propose an approach where we combine repeat aerial photography, tree-ring reconstructions, and Bayesian inference to study changes in forests. Using stereopairs of aerial photographs from five boreal forest landscapes, we visually interpreted canopy cover in contiguous 0.1-ha cells at three time points during 1959-2011. We used tree-ring measurements to produce calibration data for the interpretation, and to quantify the bias and error associated with the interpretation. Then, we discerned credible canopy cover changes from the interpretation error noise using Bayesian inference. We underestimated canopy cover using the historical low-quality photographs, and overestimated it using the recent high-quality photographs. Further, due to differences in tree species composition and canopy cover in the cells, the interpretation bias varied between the landscapes. In addition, the random interpretation error varied between and within the landscapes. Due to the varying bias and error, the magnitude of credibly detectable canopy cover change in the 0.1-ha cells depended on the studied time interval and landscape, ranging from -10 to -18 percentage points (decrease), and from +10 to +19 percentage points (increase). Hence, changes occurring at stand scales were detectable, but smaller scale changes could not be separated from the error noise. Besides the abrupt changes, also slow continuous canopy cover changes could be detected with the proposed approach. Given the wide availability of historical aerial photographs, the proposed approach can be applied for forest change analysis in biomes where tree-rings form, while accounting for the bias and error in aerial photo interpretation.
  • Rintarunsala, Juhani (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    As an internationally important topic for forestry, climate change has long been a topic of concern, as well as the ability of the forests to accumulate carbon. In addition, in Finland, these values have essentially been associated with the economic, cultural and social value of forests. In view of these values, it is important to be able to maintain forest resources at a sustainable level for all the different sectors. As far as sustainability is concerned, knowing the current state of forests is significant. This information is collected through the inventory of forests, and today it is mainly based on different remote sensing methods. In order to support reliable decisionmaking, forest information needs to be up-to-date and accurate. The aim of the thesis was to examine the accuracy of different tree attribute estimates and compare them between themselves and to investigate the accuracy of growth models in producing the estimates. In addition, the aim was to evaluate the effects of the accuracy of the remote sensing estimates on the determination of the timing harvests. The research area was located in boreal coniferous forest zone in Southern Finland, Evo (61.19˚N, 25.11˚E). The area comprised a 5 km x 5 km area, comprising about 2000 hectares of forest treated in different ways. Field measurements, aerial imagery, and airborne laser scanning data were generated using estimates for forest inventory attributes based on three different statistical features derived from the remote sensing data in the preparation of estimates. The forest inventory attributes were volume V, basal area-weighted mean diameter Dg, basal area-weighted mean height, number of the stems per hectare, and basal area G. In the prediction of the forest inventory attributes a non-parametric k-NN method was used, and random forest -algorithm was used in the selection of the nearest neighbors. Growth modeling was carried out using SIMO software. It can be seen from the results that, as a rule, more accurate results are obtained by producing airborne lasers canning estimates than by aerial imagery estimates. In addition, prediction precisions were better in coniferous trees than in deciduous trees. In forest inventory attribute estimates, especially the basal area G and volume V are generally underestimated, which is likely to delay the scheduled timing of harvests. Updating remote sensing estimates with growth models would appear to yield more biased estimates compared to the new remote sensing inventory.
  • Pursiainen, Annie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Introduction: High anthropogenic pressure exercised on the Baltic Sea causes a decline in valuable reproduction areas of coastal fish, such as the northern pike (Esox lucius L.). Hence, the conservation and restoration of the reproduction areas of pike are increasingly of importance. The Kvarken Archipelago, located in the Gulf of Bothnia, presents valuable reproduction habitats for fish. The pre-flads, flads, glo-flads and glo-lakes provide warm and sheltered areas that are preferred by spring-spawning fish, such as pike. However, the precise environmental factors influencing pike reproduction in the region have not yet been identified. In this study, different environmental factors influencing pike reproduction in the Kvarken Archipelago were assessed. Furthermore, as technology advances, there is a need to evaluate the use of new techniques alongside the generally time consuming and expensive traditional research methods applied for surveying the pike reproductive areas. Henceforth, the present study assessed the suitability of the high-resolution aerial photography for identifying potential reproduction areas of northern pike. Methods: The data of pike fry density, the vegetation, the abiotic and biotic environmental factors, as well as the aerial images of the 45 sampling sites were collected by Natural Resources Institute Finland and Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland as part of the Kvarken Flada -project. Pike fry were sampled with a flat dipnet amongst vegetation along a 100 m sampling line during spring. Concurrently, the vegetation, the occurrence of sticklebacks (Gasterosteidae) and the abiotic factors affecting water quality, including salinity, pH, oxygen content and turbidity were determined. The temperature was recorded with temperature loggers from early spring until late summer. The temperature sum for June showed the greatest effect on pike fry densities and was thus used in the analyses. The archipelago zones, which are based on previously modelled temperature sums, were defined for the sampling sites in the geographic information system (QGIS). Additionally, factors describing the morphology, the vegetation and bottom substrate coverage of the sampling sites were utilized in the analyses. The presence of pike fry was analysed with binary logistic regression. The pike fry densities were studied using non-parametric analyses due to the high number of zero observations in the data. The aerial images were taken in late summer of 2017 and 2018, when the vegetation was fully developed. The vegetation types, i.e. reed, fallen reed, wetland grasses, submerged vegetation and filamentous algae, identified in the images were compared to the vegetation data gathered during field survey in QGIS. The performance of the aerial images was assessed by calculating the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity for the different vegetation classes, first for the whole dataset and then for the sampling points with pike fry observations. Results and conclusions: This study determines two key factors defining suitable reproduction areas of pike, the temperature sum for June and the morphology of the sampling site. The results indicate that pike prefer warm and sheltered areas with suitable vegetation, such as reed and wetland grasses. In particular, glo-lakes provide favorable conditions for pike and the temperature sum for June was significantly higher in the glo-lakes compared to the pre-flads. The temperatures of the glo-lakes were constant throughout the archipelago, providing suitable conditions for pike reproduction also in the outermost archipelago. In all of the glo-lakes pike fry were observed and generally the highest pike fry densities were found in glo-lakes. However, the year class strength of pike can be affected by the possibility of the juvenile pike to emigrate from the enclosed glo-lakes back to the sea. Salinity reflects the connectivity of the site to the surrounding sea and had a significant negative effect on pike fry density. Additionally, the presence of sticklebacks affected negatively the presence of pike fry, which might be traced back to the different use of the archipelago zones and site morphologies of these species. Increasing pH negatively influenced the pike fry density. However, pike fry were observed also in the highest pH conditions and therefore pH alone is not sufficient to explain the presence and density of pike fry. Due to the small sample size of the dataset, it can be assumed that not all of the factors influencing pike reproduction were identified and thus the use of a larger dataset is recommendable in future studies. This study provides new methodological information on reproduction area surveying of pike with high-resolution aerial photography. The different vegetation classes were successfully identified from the aerial images. The seasonal differences were noticeable in the results, as in the aerial photographs taken in late summer, the vegetation was fully developed compared to the field study in early spring. Nevertheless, aerial photography proved to be an effective method for identifying reproduction areas of pike based on the vegetation. Furthermore, reproduction areas in need of restoration could be assessed with aerial photography.
  • Nyyssönen, Aarne; Poso, Simo; Keil, Christian (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1968)