Estimating above-ground biomass by fusion of LiDAR and multispectral data in subtropical woody plant communities in topographically complex terrain in North-eastern Australia
Ediriweera, S, Pathirana, S, Danaher, T & Nichols, D 2014, 'Estimating above-ground biomass by fusion of LiDAR and multispectral data in subtropical woody plant communities in topographically complex terrain in North-eastern Australia', Journal of Forestry Research, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 761-771.
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We investigated a strategy to improve predicting capacity of plot-scale above-ground biomass (AGB) by fusion of LiDAR and Landsat5 TM derived biophysical variables for subtropical rainforest and eucalypts dominated forest in topographically complex landscapes in North-eastern Australia. Investigation was carried out in two study areas separately and in combination. From each plot of both study areas, LiDAR derived structural parameters of vegetation and reflectance of all Landsat bands, vegetation indices were employed. The regression analysis was carried out separately for LiDAR and Landsat derived variables individually and in combination. Strong relationships were found with LiDAR alone for eucalypts dominated forest and combined sites compared to the accuracy of AGB estimates by Landsat data. Fusing LiDAR with Landsat5 TM derived variables increased overall performance for the eucalypt forest and combined sites data by describing extra variation (3% for eucalypt forest and 2% combined sites) of field estimated plot-scale above-ground biomass. In contrast, separate LiDAR and imagery data, and fusion of LiDAR and Landsat data performed poorly across structurally complex closed canopy subtropical rainforest. These findings reinforced that obtaining accurate estimates of above ground biomass using remotely sensed data is a function of the complexity of horizontal and vertical structural diversity of vegetation.