Browsing by Subject "tree species classification"

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  • Viinikka, Arto; Hurskainen, Pekka; Keski-Saari, Sarita; Kivinen, Sonja; Tanhuanpää, Topi; Mäyrä, Janne; Poikolainen, Laura; Vihervaara, Petteri; Kumpula, Timo (2020)
    Sustainable forest management increasingly highlights the maintenance of biological diversity and requires up-to-date information on the occurrence and distribution of key ecological features in forest environments. European aspen (Populus tremulaL.) is one key feature in boreal forests contributing significantly to the biological diversity of boreal forest landscapes. However, due to their sparse and scattered occurrence in northern Europe, the explicit spatial data on aspen remain scarce and incomprehensive, which hampers biodiversity management and conservation efforts. Our objective was to study tree-level discrimination of aspen from other common species in northern boreal forests using airborne high-resolution hyperspectral and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. The study contained multiple spatial analyses: First, we assessed the role of different spectral wavelengths (455-2500 nm), principal component analysis, and vegetation indices (VI) in tree species classification using two machine learning classifiers-support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF). Second, we tested the effect of feature selection for best classification accuracy achievable and third, we identified the most important spectral features to discriminate aspen from the other common tree species. SVM outperformed the RF model, resulting in the highest overall accuracy (OA) of 84% and Kappa value (0.74). The used feature set affected SVM performance little, but for RF, principal component analysis was the best. The most important common VI for deciduous trees contained Conifer Index (CI), Cellulose Absorption Index (CAI), Plant Stress Index 3 (PSI3), and Vogelmann Index 1 (VOG1), whereas Green Ratio (GR), Red Edge Inflection Point (REIP), and Red Well Position (RWP) were specific for aspen. Normalized Difference Red Edge Index (NDRE) and Modified Normalized Difference Index (MND705) were important for coniferous trees. The most important wavelengths for discriminating aspen from other species included reflectance bands of red edge range (724-727 nm) and shortwave infrared (1520-1564 nm and 1684-1706 nm). The highest classification accuracy of 92% (F1-score) for aspen was achieved using the SVM model with mean reflectance values combined with VI, which provides a possibility to produce a spatially explicit map of aspen occurrence that can contribute to biodiversity management and conservation efforts in boreal forests.
  • Viinikka, Arto; Hurskainen, Pekka; Keski-Saari, Sarita; Kivinen, Sonja; Tanhuanpää, Topi; Mäyrä, Janne; Poikolainen, Laura; Vihervaara, Petteri; Kumpula, Timo (MDPI, 2020)
    Remote Sensing 12 16 (2020)
    Sustainable forest management increasingly highlights the maintenance of biological diversity and requires up-to-date information on the occurrence and distribution of key ecological features in forest environments. European aspen (Populus tremula L.) is one key feature in boreal forests contributing significantly to the biological diversity of boreal forest landscapes. However, due to their sparse and scattered occurrence in northern Europe, the explicit spatial data on aspen remain scarce and incomprehensive, which hampers biodiversity management and conservation efforts. Our objective was to study tree-level discrimination of aspen from other common species in northern boreal forests using airborne high-resolution hyperspectral and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. The study contained multiple spatial analyses: First, we assessed the role of different spectral wavelengths (455–2500 nm), principal component analysis, and vegetation indices (VI) in tree species classification using two machine learning classifiers—support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF). Second, we tested the effect of feature selection for best classification accuracy achievable and third, we identified the most important spectral features to discriminate aspen from the other common tree species. SVM outperformed the RF model, resulting in the highest overall accuracy (OA) of 84% and Kappa value (0.74). The used feature set affected SVM performance little, but for RF, principal component analysis was the best. The most important common VI for deciduous trees contained Conifer Index (CI), Cellulose Absorption Index (CAI), Plant Stress Index 3 (PSI3), and Vogelmann Index 1 (VOG1), whereas Green Ratio (GR), Red Edge Inflection Point (REIP), and Red Well Position (RWP) were specific for aspen. Normalized Difference Red Edge Index (NDRE) and Modified Normalized Difference Index (MND705) were important for coniferous trees. The most important wavelengths for discriminating aspen from other species included reflectance bands of red edge range (724–727 nm) and shortwave infrared (1520–1564 nm and 1684–1706 nm). The highest classification accuracy of 92% (F1-score) for aspen was achieved using the SVM model with mean reflectance values combined with VI, which provides a possibility to produce a spatially explicit map of aspen occurrence that can contribute to biodiversity management and conservation efforts in boreal forests.
  • Kuzmin, Anton; Korhonen, Lauri; Kivinen, Sonja; Hurskainen, Pekka; Korpelainen, Pasi; Tanhuanpää, Topi; Maltamo, Matti; Vihervaara, Petteri; Kumpula, Timo (2021)
    European aspen (Populus tremula L.) is a keystone species for biodiversity of boreal forests.Large-diameter aspens maintain the diversity of hundreds of species, many of which are threatened in Fennoscandia. Due to a low economic value and relatively sparse and scattered occurrence of aspen in boreal forests, there is a lack of information of the spatial and temporal distribution of aspen, which hampers efficient planning and implementation of sustainable forest management practices and conservation efforts. Our objective was to assess identification of European aspen at the individual tree level in a southern boreal forest using high-resolution photogrammetric point cloud (PPC) and multispectral (MSP) orthomosaics acquired with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The structure-from-motion approach was applied to generate RGB imagery-based PPC to be used for individual tree-crown delineation. Multispectral data were collected using two UAV cameras:Parrot Sequoia and MicaSense RedEdge-M. Tree-crown outlines were obtained from watershed segmentation of PPC data and intersected with multispectral mosaics to extract and calculate spectral metrics for individual trees. We assessed the role of spectral data features extracted from PPC and multispectral mosaics and a combination of it, using a machine learning classifier—Support Vector Machine (SVM) to perform two different classifications: discrimination of aspen from the other species combined into one class and classification of all four species (aspen, birch, pine, spruce) simultaneously. In the first scenario, the highest classification accuracy of 84% (F1-score) for aspen and overall accuracy of 90.1% was achieved using only RGB features from PPC, whereas in the second scenario, the highest classification accuracy of 86 % (F1-score) for aspen and overall accuracy of 83.3% was achieved using the combination of RGB and MSP features. The proposed method provides a new possibility for the rapid assessment of aspen occurrence to enable more efficient forest management as well as contribute to biodiversity monitoring and conservation efforts in boreal forests.
  • Lin, Yi; Jiang, Miao; Pellikka, Petri; Heiskanen, Janne (2018)
    Mensuration of tree growth habits is of considerable importance for understanding forest ecosystem processes and forest biophysical responses to climate changes. However, the complexity of tree crown morphology that is typically formed after many years of growth tends to render it a non-trivial task, even for the state-of-the-art 3D forest mapping technology-light detection and ranging (LiDAR). Fortunately, botanists have deduced the large structural diversity of tree forms into only a limited number of tree architecture models, which can present a-priori knowledge about tree structure, growth, and other attributes for different species. This study attempted to recruit Halle architecture models (HAMs) into LiDAR mapping to investigate tree growth habits in structure. First, following the HAM-characterized tree structure organization rules, we run the kernel procedure of tree species classification based on the LiDAR-collected point clouds using a support vector machine classifier in the leave-one-out-for-cross-validation mode. Then, the HAM corresponding to each of the classified tree species was identified based on expert knowledge, assisted by the comparison of the LiDAR-derived feature parameters. Next, the tree growth habits in structure for each of the tree species were derived from the determined HAM. In the case of four tree species growing in the boreal environment, the tests indicated that the classification accuracy reached 85.0%, and their growth habits could be derived by qualitative and quantitative means. Overall, the strategy of recruiting conventional HAMs into LiDAR mapping for investigating tree growth habits in structure was validated, thereby paving a new way for efficiently reflecting tree growth habits and projecting forest structure dynamics.
  • Yu, Xiaowei; Hyyppa, Juha; Litkey, Paula; Kaartinen, Harri; Vastaranta, Mikko; Holopainen, Markus (2017)
    This paper investigated the potential of multispectral airborne laser scanning (ALS) data for individual tree detection and tree species classification. The aim was to develop a single-sensor solution for forest mapping that is capable of providing species-specific information, required for forest management and planning purposes. Experiments were conducted using 1903 ground measured trees from 22 sample plots and multispectral ALS data, acquired with an Optech Titan scanner over a boreal forest, mainly consisting of Scots pine (Pinus Sylvestris), Norway spruce (Picea Abies), and birch (Betula sp.), in southern Finland. ALS-features used as predictors for tree species were extracted from segmented tree objects and used in random forest classification. Different combinations of features, including point cloud features, and intensity features of single and multiple channels, were tested. Among the field-measured trees, 61.3% were correctly detected. The best overall accuracy (OA) of tree species classification achieved for correctly-detected trees was 85.9% (Kappa = 0.75), using a point cloud and single-channel intensity features combination, which was not significantly different from the ones that were obtained either using all features (OA = 85.6%, Kappa = 0.75), or single-channel intensity features alone (OA = 85.4%, Kappa = 0.75). Point cloud features alone achieved the lowest accuracy, with an OA of 76.0%. Field-measured trees were also divided into four categories. An examination of the classification accuracy for four categories of trees showed that isolated and dominant trees can be detected with a detection rate of 91.9%, and classified with a high overall accuracy of 90.5%. The corresponding detection rate and accuracy were 81.5% and 89.8% for a group of trees, 26.4% and 79.1% for trees next to a larger tree, and 7.2% and 53.9% for trees situated under a larger tree, respectively. The results suggest that Channel 2 (1064 nm) contains more information for separating pine, spruce, and birch, followed by channel 1 (1550 nm) and channel 3 (532 nm) with an overall accuracy of 81.9%, 78.3%, and 69.1%, respectively. Our results indicate that the use of multispectral ALS data has great potential to lead to a single-sensor solution for forest mapping.
  • Mäyrä, Janne; Keski-Saari, Sarita; Kivinen, Sonja; Tanhuanpää, Topi; Hurskainen, Pekka; Kullberg, Peter; Poikolainen, Laura; Viinikka, Arto; Tuominen, Sakari; Kumpula, Timo; Vihervaara, Petteri (2021)
    During the last two decades, forest monitoring and inventory systems have moved from field surveys to remote sensing-based methods. These methods tend to focus on economically significant components of forests, thus leaving out many factors vital for forest biodiversity, such as the occurrence of species with low economical but high ecological values. Airborne hyperspectral imagery has shown significant potential for tree species classification, but the most common analysis methods, such as random forest and support vector machines, require manual feature engineering in order to utilize both spatial and spectral features, whereas deep learning methods are able to extract these features from the raw data. Our research focused on the classification of the major tree species Scots pine, Norway spruce and birch, together with an ecologically valuable keystone species, European aspen, which has a sparse and scattered occurrence in boreal forests. We compared the performance of three-dimensional convolutional neural networks (3D-CNNs) with the support vector machine, random forest, gradient boosting machine and artificial neural network in individual tree species classification from hyperspectral data with high spatial and spectral resolution. We collected hyperspectral and LiDAR data along with extensive ground reference data measurements of tree species from the 83 km2 study area located in the southern boreal zone in Finland. A LiDAR-derived canopy height model was used to match ground reference data to aerial imagery. The best performing 3D-CNN, utilizing 4 m image patches, was able to achieve an F1-score of 0.91 for aspen, an overall F1-score of 0.86 and an overall accuracy of 87%, while the lowest performing 3D-CNN utilizing 10 m image patches achieved an F1-score of 0.83 and an accuracy of 85%. In comparison, the support-vector machine achieved an F1-score of 0.82 and an accuracy of 82.4% and the artificial neural network achieved an F1-score of 0.82 and an accuracy of 81.7%. Compared to the reference models, 3D-CNNs were more efficient in distinguishing coniferous species from each other, with a concurrent high accuracy for aspen classification. Deep neural networks, being black box models, hide the information about how they reach their decision. We used both occlusion and saliency maps to interpret our models. Finally, we used the best performing 3D-CNN to produce a wall-to-wall tree species map for the full study area that can later be used as a reference prediction in, for instance, tree species mapping from multispectral satellite images. The improved tree species classification demonstrated by our study can benefit both sustainable forestry and biodiversity conservation.
  • Nezami, Somayeh; Khoramshahi, Ehsan; Nevalainen, Olli; Pölönen, Ilkka; Honkavaara, Eija (2020)
    Interest in drone solutions in forestry applications is growing. Using drones, datasets can be captured flexibly and at high spatial and temporal resolutions when needed. In forestry applications, fundamental tasks include the detection of individual trees, tree species classification, biomass estimation, etc. Deep neural networks (DNN) have shown superior results when comparing with conventional machine learning methods such as multi-layer perceptron (MLP) in cases of huge input data. The objective of this research is to investigate 3D convolutional neural networks (3D-CNN) to classify three major tree species in a boreal forest: pine, spruce, and birch. The proposed 3D-CNN models were employed to classify tree species in a test site in Finland. The classifiers were trained with a dataset of 3039 manually labelled trees. Then the accuracies were assessed by employing independent datasets of 803 records. To find the most efficient set of feature combination, we compare the performances of 3D-CNN models trained with hyperspectral (HS) channels, Red-Green-Blue (RGB) channels, and canopy height model (CHM), separately and combined. It is demonstrated that the proposed 3D-CNN model with RGB and HS layers produces the highest classification accuracy. The producer accuracy of the best 3D-CNN classifier on the test dataset were 99.6%, 94.8%, and 97.4% for pines, spruces, and birches, respectively. The best 3D-CNN classifier produced ~5% better classification accuracy than the MLP with all layers. Our results suggest that the proposed method provides excellent classification results with acceptable performance metrics for HS datasets. Our results show that pine class was detectable in most layers. Spruce was most detectable in RGB data, while birch was most detectable in the HS layers. Furthermore, the RGB datasets provide acceptable results for many low-accuracy applications.
  • Imangholiloo, Mohammad; Saarinen, Ninni; Holopainen, Markus; Yu, Xiaowei; Hyyppa, Juha; Vastaranta, Mikko (2020)
    Information from seedling stands in time and space is essential for sustainable forest management. To fulfil these informational needs with limited resources, remote sensing is seen as an intriguing alternative for forest inventorying. The structure and tree species composition in seedling stands have created challenges for capturing this information using sensors providing sparse point densities that do not have the ability to penetrate canopy gaps or provide spectral information. Therefore, multispectral airborne laser scanning (mALS) systems providing dense point clouds coupled with multispectral intensity data theoretically offer advantages for the characterization of seedling stands. The aim of this study was to investigate the capability of Optech Titan mALS data to characterize seedling stands in leaf-off and leaf-on conditions, as well as to retrieve the most important forest inventory attributes, such as distinguishing deciduous from coniferous trees, and estimating tree density and height. First, single-tree detection approaches were used to derive crown boundaries and tree heights from which forest structural attributes were aggregated for sample plots. To predict tree species, a random forests classifier was trained using features from two single-channel intensities (SCIs) with wavelengths of 1550 (SCI-Ch1) and 1064 nm (SCI-Ch2), and multichannel intensity (MCI) data composed of three mALS channels. The most important and uncorrelated features were analyzed and selected from 208 features. The highest overall accuracies in classification of Norway spruce, birch, and nontree class in leaf-off and leaf-on conditions obtained using SCI-Ch1 and SCI-Ch2 were 87.36% and 69.47%, respectively. The use of MCI data improved classification by up to 96.55% and 92.54% in leaf-off and leaf-on conditions, respectively. Overall, leaf-off data were favorable for distinguishing deciduous from coniferous trees and tree density estimation with a relative root mean square error (RMSE) of 37.9%, whereas leaf-on data provided more accurate height estimations, with a relative RMSE of 10.76%. Determining the canopy threshold for separating ground returns from vegetation returns was found to be critical, as mapped trees might have a height below one meter. The results showed that mALS data provided benefits for characterizing seedling stands compared to single-channel ALS systems.