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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Comparison of machine-learning methods for above-ground biomass estimation based on Landsat imagery
Author(s): Chaofan Wu; Huanhuan Shen; Aihua Shen; Jinsong Deng; Muye Gan; Jinxia Zhu; Hongwei Xu; Ke Wang
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Paper Abstract

Biomass is one significant biophysical parameter of a forest ecosystem, and accurate biomass estimation on the regional scale provides important information for carbon-cycle investigation and sustainable forest management. In this study, Landsat satellite imagery data combined with field-based measurements were integrated through comparisons of five regression approaches [stepwise linear regression, K-nearest neighbor, support vector regression, random forest (RF), and stochastic gradient boosting] with two different candidate variable strategies to implement the optimal spatial above-ground biomass (AGB) estimation. The results suggested that RF algorithm exhibited the best performance by 10-fold cross-validation with respect to R2 (0.63) and root-mean-square error (26.44  ton/ha). Consequently, the map of estimated AGB was generated with a mean value of 89.34  ton/ha in northwestern Zhejiang Province, China, with a similar pattern to the distribution mode of local forest species. This research indicates that machine-learning approaches associated with Landsat imagery provide an economical way for biomass estimation. Moreover, ensemble methods using all candidate variables, especially for Landsat images, provide an alternative for regional biomass simulation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 August 2016
PDF: 17 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 10(3) 035010 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.10.035010
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 10, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Chaofan Wu, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Huanhuan Shen, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Aihua Shen, Zhejiang Forestry Academy (China)
Jinsong Deng, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Muye Gan, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Jinxia Zhu, Zhejiang Univ. of Finance and Economics (China)
Hongwei Xu, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Ke Wang, Zhejiang Univ. (China)


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