Relationships between stand density and canopy structure in a dryland forest as estimated by ground-based measurements and multi-spectral spaceborne images Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract This paper describes evaluation of forest stand density combining satellite imagery with forest inventory data set. The degree of canopy cover is described in terms of fractional vegetation cover (FVC) obtained by a linear mixture model applied on multi-spectral IKONOS image and canopy cover (CC). CC was calculated from field measurements of crown width of 646 standing trees sited within 72 circular (200 m 2 ) plots. A comparison between CC and FVC shows that the former can be accurately represented by the latter linking in-situ measured forest characteristics with surface reflectance measured by a satellite. Stand density expressed as an absolute term (number of trees per unit area) showed high and significant positive correlation to FVC ( R 2 = 0.96) and to relative density measure (Crown Competition Factor; R 2 = 0.89). In order to show the applicability of the presented approach for managerial practices, a map of the spatial distribution of stand density within the forest was produced using the above-mentioned correlations. Its quality was verified against an independent data set of ground measurements. The correlation between field- and map-based number of trees per unit area was found to be satisfactory ( R 2 = 0.4; p

publication date

  • January 1, 2009