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Pilot study on the retrieval of DBH and diameter distribution of deciduous forest stands using cast shadows in UAV-based orthomosaics

Kattenborn, T. 1; Hernández, J.; Lopatin, J. 1; Kattenborn, G.; Fassnacht, F. E. ORCID iD icon 1
1 Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie (IFGG), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


One fundamental metric to characterize trees and forest stands is the diameter at breast height (DBH). However, the vertical geometry of tree stems hampers a direct measurement by means of orthographic aerial imagery. Nevertheless, the DBH in deciduous forest stands could be measured from UAV-based imagery using the width of a stem´s cast shadow projected on the ground. Here, we compare in-situ measured DBH of 100 trees with the DBH visually interpreted from cast-shadows derived in UAV-based aerial imagery. Then, based on simulated datasets, we determine suitable DBH sampling sizes for a robust and efficient retrieval of stand diameter distributions. The UAV-based DBH estimation resulted in an r² of 0.74, RMSE of 7.61 cm, NRMSE of 12.8% and approximately unbiased results. According to our simulations it can be assumed that a sample size of 25-50 individual DBH measurements per forest stand allows estimating reliable diameter distributions. The presented pilot study gives a first insight on the potential of such an approach for operational assessments of diameter distribution in deciduous forest stands and might be particularly interesting for stands in difficult terrain situations. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000088372
Veröffentlicht am 10.12.2018
DOI: 10.5194/isprs-annals-IV-1-93-2018
Zitationen: 11
Zitationen: 11
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie (IFGG)
KIT-Zentrum Klima und Umwelt (ZKU)
Publikationstyp Proceedingsbeitrag
Publikationsjahr 2018
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2194-9042
KITopen-ID: 1000088372
Erschienen in 2018 ISPRS Technical Commission I Midterm Symposium on Innovative Sensing - From Sensors to Methods and Applications; Karlsruhe; Germany; 10 October 2018 through 12 October 2018. Ed.: S. Hinz
Verlag Curran
Seiten 93-99
Serie ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences ; 4-1
Schlagwörter Forest Management, Forest Inventory, DBH, Diameter Distribution, UAV, Drones, Photogrammetry, Tree Shad
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