Airborne SAR monitoring of tree growth in a coniferous plantation

Rowland, C. S.; Balzter, H.; Dawson, T. P.; Luckman, A.; Patenaude, G.; Skinner, L.. 2008 Airborne SAR monitoring of tree growth in a coniferous plantation. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 29 (13). 3873 - 3889.

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This paper examines three empirically based methods of monitoring forest growth between 1991 and 2000 from airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR). In the first method, height change and volume change between 1991 and 2000 were estimated from the mean L-band stand backscatter difference between the two dates. Height change and volume change over the 9-year period were estimated with an accuracy of 0.23 m and 15 m<sup>3</sup> ha<sup>-1</sup>, respectively, when the stands were below saturation point for the first date. The accuracy of the results was lower for stands beyond saturation in both data sets. In the second method, the height change is calculated from the estimated stand height in 2000 minus the estimated stand height in 1991. The second method produced poorer results than the first method, but better results than predicted by the error propagation equation. The difference between the observed accuracy and the expected error (based on the error propagation equation) appears to be due to a systematic bias in both the 1991 and 2000 estimates, as the residuals are correlated for stands below 20 years old (<i>r</i> = 0.71 for stand volume residuals). The third experiment investigates the utility of data from two dates to classify the stands into three age classes. The results show that, with two images separated by 9 years, 85% of stands were correctly classified compared with 69% for a single date L-HV image.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > CC01B Land-surface Feedbacks in the Climate System > CC01.5 Datasets for land-surface science
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
ISSN: 0143-1161
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This is an electronic version of an article published in International Journal of Remote Sensing, 29 (13)pp 3873-3889. The International Journal of Remote Sensing is available online at informaworldTM
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 20 Nov 2008 11:48 +0 (UTC)

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