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A Conventional Cruise and Felled-Tree Validation of Individual Tree Diameter, Height and Volume Derived from Airborne Laser Scanning Data of a Loblolly Pine (P. taeda) Stand in Eastern Texas

Mark V Corrao · Aaron M. Sparks · Alistair M. S. Smith

Abstract: Globally, remotely sensed data and, in particular, Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS), are being assessed by the forestry industry for their ability to acquire accurate forest inventories at an individual-tree level. This pilot study compares an inventory derived using the ForestView® biometrics analysis system to traditional cruise measurements and felled tree measurements for 139 Pinus taeda sp. (loblolly pine) trees in eastern Texas. The Individual Tree Detection (ITD) accuracy of ForestView® was 97.1%. In terms of tree height accuracy, ForestView® results had an overall lower mean bias and RMSE than the traditional cruise techniques when both datasets were compared to the felled tree data (LiDAR: mean bias = 1.1 cm, RMSE = 41.2 cm; Cruise: mean bias = 13.8 cm, RMSE = 57.5 cm). No significant difference in mean tree height was observed between the felled tree, cruise, and LiDAR measurements (p-value = 0.58). ForestView-derived DBH exhibited a −2.1 cm bias compared to felled-tree measurements. This study demonstrates the utility of this newly emerging ITD software as an approach to characterize forest structure on similar coniferous forests landscapes.

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