Forests play a central role in the management of the Earth’s climate. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) technologies facilitate the monitoring of large and impassable areas and can be used to monitor the 3D structure of forests. While the ALS-based forest measures have been studied in depth, 3D change detection in forests is still a subject of little attention in the literature due to the challenges introduced by comparing point cloud pairs. In this study, we propose an innovative methodology to (i) automatically perform a 3D change detection of forests on an individual tree level; (ii) estimate tree parameters with allometric equations; and (iii) perform an assessment of the aboveground biomass (AGB) variation over time. The area in which the tests were carried out was hit by an ice storm that occurred in the time interval between the two LiDAR acquisitions; furthermore, field measurements were carried out and used to validate the results. The single-tree segmentation of the point clouds was automatically performed with a local maxima algorithm to detect the treetop, and a decision tree method to define the individual crowns around the local maxima. The multitemporal comparison of the point clouds was based on the identification of single trees, which were matched when there was a correlation between the position of the treetops. For each tree, the DBH (diameter at breast height) and the AGB were also estimated using allometric equations. The results are promising and allowed us to identify the uprooted trees and estimate that about 40% of the AGB of the area under examination had been destroyed, with an RMSE over the estimation ranging between 4% and 21% in four scenarios.

An Automatic Individual Tree 3D Change Detection Method for Allometric Parameters Estimation in Mixed Uneven-Aged Forest Stands from ALS Data / Spadavecchia, Claudio; Belcore, Elena; Piras, Marco; Kobal, Milan. - In: REMOTE SENSING. - ISSN 2072-4292. - 14:18(2022), pp. 1-17. [10.3390/rs14184666]

An Automatic Individual Tree 3D Change Detection Method for Allometric Parameters Estimation in Mixed Uneven-Aged Forest Stands from ALS Data

Spadavecchia, Claudio;Belcore, Elena;Piras, Marco;
2022

Abstract

Forests play a central role in the management of the Earth’s climate. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) technologies facilitate the monitoring of large and impassable areas and can be used to monitor the 3D structure of forests. While the ALS-based forest measures have been studied in depth, 3D change detection in forests is still a subject of little attention in the literature due to the challenges introduced by comparing point cloud pairs. In this study, we propose an innovative methodology to (i) automatically perform a 3D change detection of forests on an individual tree level; (ii) estimate tree parameters with allometric equations; and (iii) perform an assessment of the aboveground biomass (AGB) variation over time. The area in which the tests were carried out was hit by an ice storm that occurred in the time interval between the two LiDAR acquisitions; furthermore, field measurements were carried out and used to validate the results. The single-tree segmentation of the point clouds was automatically performed with a local maxima algorithm to detect the treetop, and a decision tree method to define the individual crowns around the local maxima. The multitemporal comparison of the point clouds was based on the identification of single trees, which were matched when there was a correlation between the position of the treetops. For each tree, the DBH (diameter at breast height) and the AGB were also estimated using allometric equations. The results are promising and allowed us to identify the uprooted trees and estimate that about 40% of the AGB of the area under examination had been destroyed, with an RMSE over the estimation ranging between 4% and 21% in four scenarios.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2971614