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Advanced earth observation techniques in forest biodiversity assessment

European aspen (Populus tremula) is a keystone species for boreal forests biodiversity, since hundreds of other species of various life of forms are dependent on it as a source of nutrition or a living environment. Due to a low economic value and sparse and scattered occurrence of aspen species in boreal forests, there is a lack of information on the spatial and temporal distribution from national forest inventories, which hamper efficient planning and implementing sustainable forest management practices and conservation efforts. Nowadays airborne earth observation techniques are commonly used for biodiversity assessment over the large areas, however, operational costs of data acquisition are still relatively high and there is strong dependence on the availability and quality of field data. New unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based earth observation technique proved to be very efficient in providing ultra-high spatial and temporal resolution imagery for detailed forest properties assessment at reasonable costs and serve as a supplement or even able to replace part of the currently required field work to support biodiversity assessments. The main objective of this study was to recognize individual European aspen trees in old-growth boreal forests in conservation area and estimate its structural properties based on the combination of spectral bands and structural features extracted from UAV data. The results were compared with the airborne laser scanning and hyperspectral data-based approaches.

Anton Kuzmin
University of Eastern Finland
Finland

Topi Tanhuanpää
University of Eastern Finland
Finland

Arto Viinikka
Finnish Environment Institute
Finland

Pasi Korpelainen
University of Eastern Finland
Finland

Petteri Vihervaara
Finnish Environment Institute
Finland

Sonja Kivinen
University of Eastern Finland
Finland

Sarita Keski-Saari
University of Eastern Finland
Finland

Peter Kullberg
Finnish Environment Institute
Finland

Laura Poikolainen
University of Eastern Finland
Finland

Aleksi Ritakallio
University of Eastern Finland
Finland

Timo Kumpula
University of Eastern Finland
Finland

 


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