Effects of field plot configurations on the uncertainties of ALS-assisted forest resource estimates
Tomppo, Erkki; Kuusinen, Nea; Mäkisara, Kai; Katila, Matti; McRoberts, Ronald E. (2017)
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McRoberts, Ronald E.
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
Taylor & Francis
The effects of field plot configurations on the uncertainties of plot-level forest resource estimates were analyzed using airborne laser scanner data, aerial photographs and field measurements. The aim was to select a field sample plot configuration that can be used for both large area and management inventories. Error estimates were evaluated at the plot level using six different training plot configurations. Additionally, separate plots with two different sizes were used for evaluation. Stem volume and five other forest resource characteristics were considered. The field measurement costs of the different plot configurations were also studied. RMSEs and mean deviations for airborne laser scanning ALS-assisted estimates were practically the same for the fixed radius plot, the two concentric plots and the angle count plot with a basal area factor of q = 1 for all three evaluation plot sizes. Angle count plots with basal area factors of q = 1.5 and 2 increased the RMSEs. For the former plot configurations, the RMSEs for the ALS-assisted estimates could be attributed to inaccuracy in the predicted relationships between the field data and ALS data, not to the training plot configuration. Tree measurements and costs can, therefore, be reduced from those of the Finnish management inventories without increasing RMSEs.
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