Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Monitoring and Assessment of Resources in Europe - Forest (MARIE-F)

There is a need for uniform forest inventory methods at the European level. European forest statistics collected by the European Statistical Office are in many cases in-complete or out of date. Uniform and widely applicable techniques may be based on satellite data. In the MARIE-F project we have investigated such an approach. Use is made of the Forest Light Interaction model to relate forest reflection to the most important structural parameters of a forest: crown closure (CC) and plant area index (PAI).
Based on this model an inverse algorithm has been designed which processes Landsat band 4 and band 5 data to image maps of CC and PAI. These may then further be related to end-user attributes such as timber volume and vitality. The method has been tested at a number of European test sites. Good results were obtained in relatively flat cultivation forests in France and the Netherlands. The advantages of the methodology are: (1) it is spatially continuous enabling the production of statistics andmaps (2) it is uniform and objective, (3) it is relatively fast and (4) it is cost effective.

A fast groundtruthing methodology has been developed to collect CC and PAI data on the ground, using vertical digital photography. The software for satellite data processing (EARS-FLIM) and for groundtruth data processing (EARS-DPS) are available on licensing basis.

Reported by

EARS Remote Sensing
Kanaalweg 1
2628 Delft
Netherlands
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