Hyperspectral remote sensing of forest condition: Estimating chlorophyll content in tolerant hardwoods

  • Sampson P
  • Zarco-Tejada P
  • Mohammed G
 et al. 
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Abstract

To develop practical and objective measures of forest condition, the Bioindicators of Forest Sustainability Project has used a physiological, remote sensing approach that emphasizes identifying early warning measures of stress effects in forests. While stress indicators exist at the leaf level (e.g., chlorophyll fluorescence, pigment levels), developing reliable indicators at the canopy level is a challenge. Hyperspectral sensors, such as the Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI), may be useful in remotely detecting vegetation stress effects. In this study, an inverse modeling approach demonstrated that the CASI could be used to map chlorophyll content (root mean square errors ranging from 12.6 to 13.0 mg/cm2) following different silvicultural treatments in a tolerant hardwood (sugar maple [Acer saccharum M.]) forest. This capability could be readily applied to operationally assessing forest physiological strain and in classifying forest condition based on chlorophyll content. A change analysis study was also conducted to evaluate chlorophyll estimation across seasons for a range of sites. The implications of these findings and recommendations for a prototype system to monitor forest condition are presented

Author-supplied keywords

  • Acer saccharum
  • Bioindicators
  • CASI
  • Change analysis
  • MERIS
  • MODIS
  • Physiology
  • Radiative transfer
  • Silviculture
  • Sugar maple

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Authors

  • Paul H. Sampson

  • Pablo J. Zarco-Tejada

  • Gina H. Mohammed

  • John R. Miller

  • Thomas L. Noland

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