Current issue: 57(1)
Under compilation: 57(2)
A new method for the co-registration of single tree data in forest stands and forest plots applicable to static as well as dynamic data capture is presented. This method consists of a stem diameter weighted linking algorithm that improves the linking accuracy when operating on diverse diameter stands with stem position errors in the single tree detectors. A co-registration quality metric threshold, QT, is also introduced which makes it possible to discriminate between correct and incorrect stem map co-registrations with high probability (>99%). These two features are combined to a simultaneous location and mapping-based co-registration method that operates with high linking accuracy and that can handle sensors with drifting errors and signal bias. A test with simulated data shows that the method has an 89.35% detection rate. The statistics of different settings in a simulation study are presented, where the effect of stem density and position errors were investigated. A test case with real sensor data from a forest stand shows that the average nearest neighbor distances decreased from 1.90 m to 0.51 m, which indicates the feasibility of this method.
A new sampling design, the local pivotal method (LPM), was combined with the micro stand approach and compared with the traditional systematic sampling design for estimation of forest stand variables. The LPM uses the distance between units in an auxiliary space – in this case airborne laser scanning (ALS) data – to obtain a well-spread sample. Two sets of reference plots were acquired by the two sampling designs and used for imputing data to evaluation plots. The first set of reference plots, acquired by LPM, made up four imputation alternatives (varying number of reference plots) and the second set of reference plots, acquired by systematic sampling design, made up two alternatives (varying plot radius). The forest variables in these alternatives were estimated using the nonparametric method of most similar neighbor imputation, with the ALS data used as auxiliary data. The relative root mean square error (RelRMSE), stem diameter distribution error index and suboptimal loss were calculated for each alternative, but the results showed that neither sampling design, i.e. LPM vs. systematic, offered clear advantages over the other. It is likely that the obtained results were a consequence of the small evaluation dataset used in the study (n = 30). Nevertheless, the LPM sampling design combined with the micro stand approach showed potential for improvement and might be a competitive method when considering the cost efficiency.