Above ground biomass estimation in an African tropical forest with lidar and hyperspectral data

Above ground biomass estimation in an African tropical forest with lidar and hyperspectral data

The estimation of above ground biomass in forests is critical for carbon cycle modelling and climate change mitigation programmes. Small footprint lidar provides accurate biomass estimates, but its application in tropical forests has been limited, particularly in Africa. Hyperspectral data record canopy spectral information that is potentially related to forest biomass. In this paper, published in the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Vaglio Laurin and co-authors modelled biomass using small footprint lidar metrics as well as airborne hyperspectral bands and derived vegetation indexes, to assess lidar ability to retrieve biomass in an African forest and the usefulness of including hyperspectral information. The authors’ findings showed that the integration of hyperspectral bands improved the model based on lidar alone. Their results also suggest that high quality ground truth data is crucial for lidar-based above ground biomass estimates in tropical African forests, especially if airborne lidar is used as an intermediate step of upscaling field-measured above ground biomass to a larger area.

This paper is an output of the CCI Collaborative Fund project Applications of airborne remote sensing to the conservation management of a West African National Park

Vaglio Laurin, G. et al. (2014). Above ground biomass estimation in an African tropical forest with lidar and hyperspectral data. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 89, 49–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ISPRSJPRS.2014.01.001

Collaboration / Project(s)

Applications of airborne remote sensing to the conservation management of a West African National Park

Reducing emissions from tropical forest deforestation and degradation (REDD+) is regarded by some leading economists as a cost-effective means of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. In terms of conservation, REDD+ is often regarded as a win-win-win opportunity: climate change will be mitigated, biodiverse forests protected and local communities rewarded. Yet, the…