Detection of very small tree plantations and tree-level characterization using open-access remote-sensing databases
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/1728
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/12/14/2276
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2505.04 Utilización del Terreno ; 5401.03 Utilización de la Tierra ; 3106 Ciencia Forestal
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Highly fragmented land property hinders the planning and management of single species tree plantations. In such situations, acquiring information about the available resources is challenging. This study aims to propose a method to locate and characterize tree plantations in these cases. Galicia (Northwest of Spain) is an area where property is extremely divided into small parcels. European chestnut (Castanea sativa) plantations are an important source of income there; however, it is often difficult to obtain information about them due to their small size and scattered distribution. Therefore, we selected a Galician region with a high presence of chestnut plantations as a case study area in order to locate and characterize small plantations using open-access data. First, we detected the location of chestnut plantations applying a supervised classification for a combination of: Sentinel-2 images and the open-access low-density Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) point clouds, obtained from the untapped open-access LiDAR Spanish national database. Three classification algorithms were used: Random Forest (RF), Support Vector Machine (SVM), and XGBoost. We later characterized the plots at the tree-level using the LiDAR point-cloud. We detected individual trees and obtained their height applying a local maxima algorithm to a point-cloud-derived Canopy Height Model (CHM). We also calculated the crown surface of each tree by applying a method based on two-dimensional (2D) tree shape reconstruction and canopy segmentation to a projection of the LiDAR point cloud. Chestnut plantations were detected with an overall accuracy of 81.5%. Individual trees were identified with a detection rate of 96%. The coefficient of determination R2 value for tree height estimation was 0.83, while for the crown surface calculation it was 0.74. The accuracy achieved with these open-access databases makes the proposed procedure suitable for acquiring knowledge about the location and state of chestnut plantations as well as for monitoring their evolution.
Files in this item