Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

Countrywide estimates of forest variables using satellite data and field data from the national forest inventory

Reese H, Nilsson M, Pahlen TG, Hagner O, Joyce S, Tingelof U, Egberth M, Olsson H


About 55% of the land area in Sweden is covered by forest. Presently, there is no uniform and geographically explicit description of the forest cover for Sweden. Independent data sources already existing are satellite data from Landsat TM and SPOT HRV, map masks and forest inventory plots. Together, they provide the possibility of computing estimates of forest variables such as stem volume and stand age. The accuracy for these estimations will be low on the pixel level, but higher on a stand level. This type of raster-based forest data is useful for authorities when planning how timber resources should be utilized or for monitoring purposes. The production line that was developed to create a countrywide database of forest variable estimates in a cost-efficient way is described. Accuracy of forest variable estimates for an area in southwestern Sweden was assessed at stand level. Results showed 33% overall root mean square error for the estimates of total wood volume, and 23% for the age estimates

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2003, Volume: 32, number: 8, pages: 542-548