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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Can models for forest attributes based on airborne laser scanning be generalized for different silvicultural management systems?

Maltamo, M.; Peltola, P.; Packalen, P.; Hardenbol, A.; Raty, J.; Saksa, T.; Eerikainen, K.; Korhonen, L.

Abstract

In Finland, interest in continuous cover forestry (CCF) has increased rapidly in recent years. During those years CCF has been examined from various viewpoints but not from the perspective of forest inventories. This holds especially true for applications based on remote sensing. Conversely, airborne laser scanning (ALS) data have been widely used to predict forest characteristics such as size distribution and vertical forest structure, which are closely related to the forest information needs of CCF. In this study we used the area-based approach to predict a set of stand attributes from ALS data (5 pulses per m2) in a CCF forest management experiment in Katajama & BULL;ki, eastern Finland. In addition to the CCF stands, the experiment included shelterwood stands and untreated stands. The predicted attributes included volume, biomass, basal area, number of stems, mean diameter, Lorey's height, dominant height, standing dead wood volume, parameters of the theoretical stem diameter distribution model, understory height and number of understory stems. Our main aim was to test whether the same model could be used across different management systems. The accuracy of the attributes predicted for the CCF stands was compared with the predictions for the other management systems in the same experiment. We also compared and discussed our results in relation to the even-aged stand attribute predictions that were conducted by using separate operational forest data collected from sites surrounding Katajama & BULL;ki. The results showed that forest data from the different management systems could be combined into a single model of a stand attribute, i.e., ALS metrics were found to be suitable for comparing different management systems in regard to differences in forest structure. The accuracy of the predicted attributes in the CCF plots was comparable to that of the other management alternatives in the experiment. The accuracy was also comparable to that of even-aged forests. The results of this study were promising; the stand attributes of CCF-managed forests could be predicted analogously to those of other management systems. This indicates that for the purposes of forest inventories there may not be a need to stratify forest lands by management system. It should be noted, however, that the study area was relatively small, that the forest stands were harvested in the 1980 s, and that the attributes may not have been completely exhaustive for CCF.

Keywords

Area-based approach; Continuous cover forestry; Lidar; Silviculture; Uneven-aged forestry

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2023, Volume: 546, article number: 121312
Publisher: ELSEVIER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2023.121312

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/126330