Multi-sensor modelling of a forest productivity

An understanding of how plantation productivity varies spatially is important for forest planning, management and projection of future plantation yields and returns. The 300 Index is a volume productivity index developed for Pinus radiata D.Don that has been widely used within New Zealand to assess site productivity. Although the 300 Index is routinely characterised at the stand level, Scion researchers have investigated if remotely sensed data sources can be used in combination with environmental layers to precisely predict this metric at fine spatial resolution.

Researchers constructed 28 different models from 433 central North Island plantation plots and found that models constructed from LiDAR provide the most precise means of estimating the 300 Index. However, in many situations LiDAR is too expensive to acquire the stand age required for linking LiDAR to 300 Index. 

In the absence of stand age, results show that precise models can be constructed from variables derived from the combination of satellite imagery and environmental surfaces.

Click here for source (New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science)

Image Credit: FIEA