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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Canopy cover estimation across semi-Mediterranean woodlands: application of high-resolution earth observation data
Author(s): Hamed Naghavi; Asghar Fallah; Shaban Shataee; Hooman Latifi; Javad Soosani; Habib Ramezani; Christopher Conrad
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Paper Abstract

The semi-Mediterranean Zagros forests in western Iran are a crucial source of environmental services, but are severely threatened by climatic and anthropological constraints. Thus, an adequate inventory of existing tree cover is essential for conservation purposes. We combined ground samples and Quickbird imagery for mapping the canopy cover in a portion of unmanaged Quercus brantii stands. Orthorectified Quickbird imagery was preprocessed to derive a set of features to enhance the vegetation signal by minimizing solar irradiance effects. A recursive feature elimination was conducted to screen the predictor feature space. The random forest (RF) and support vector machines (SVMs) were applied for modeling. The input datasets were composed of four sets of predictors including the full set of predictors, the four original Quickbird bands, selected vegetation indices, and the soil line-based vegetation indices. The highest r2 and lowest relative root mean square error (RMSE) were observed in modeling with total indices and the full data set in both modeling methods. Regardless of the input dataset used, the RF models outperformed the SVM by returning higher r2 and lower relative RMSEs. It can be concluded that applying these methods and vegetation indices can provide useful information for the retrieval of canopy cover in mountainous, semiarid stands which is crucial for conservation practices in such areas.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 November 2014
PDF: 23 pages
J. Appl. Rem. Sens. 8(1) 083524 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.8.083524
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 8, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Hamed Naghavi, Sari Univ. of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (Iran)
Asghar Fallah, Sari Univ. of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (Iran)
Shaban Shataee, Gorgan Univ. of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (Iran)
Hooman Latifi, Julius-Maximilians-Univ. Würzburg (Germany)
Javad Soosani, Lorestan Univ. (Iran, Islamic Republic of)
Habib Ramezani, Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden)
Christopher Conrad, Julius-Maximilians-Univ. Würzburg (Germany)

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