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Smoothed versus unsmoothed LiDAR in a double-sample forest inventory.

by R C Parker, A L Mitchel
Southern Journal of Applied Forestry ()


Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data at 0.5- and 1-m postings were used in a double-sample forest inventory on Louisiana State University's Lee Experimental Forest, Louisiana. Phase 2 plots were established with differential global positioning system (DGPS). Tree dbh (>4.5 in.) and two sample heights were measured on every 10th plot of the Phase 1 sample. Volume was computed for natural and planted pine and mixed hardwood species. LiDAR trees were selected with focal filter procedures from smoothed and unsmoothed LiDAR canopy surfaces. Dbh-height and ground-LiDAR height models were used to predict dbh from LiDAR height and compute Phase 2 estimates of ft2 basal area and ft3 volume. Phase 1 LiDAR estimates were computed by randomly assigning heights to species classes using the probability distribution from ground plots in each inventory strata. Phase 2 LiDAR estimates were computed by randomly assigning heights to species-product groups using a Monte Carlo simulation for each ground plot. Regression coefficients for Phase 2 estimates of ft2 and ft3 from the smoothed versus unsmoothed surfaces of high- and low-density LiDAR were computed by species group. Regression estimates for combined volume were partitioned by species-product distribution of Phase 2 volume. There was no statistical difference (α=0.05) between smoothed versus unsmoothed for high- and low-density LiDAR on adjusted mean volume estimates (sampling errors of 9.52 versus 8.46% for high-density and 9.25 versus 7.65% for low-density LiDAR).

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