Authors: CAN VATANDAŞLAR, MUSTAFA ZEYBEK
Abstract: Forest inventory (FI) is the most challenging stage of forest management and planning process. Therefore, in situ surveys are often reinforced by modern remote sensing (RS) methods for collecting forestry-related data more efficiently. This study tests a stateof- the-art data collection method for practical use in the Turkish FI system for the first time. To this end, forest sampling plots were conventionally measured to collect dendrometric data from 437 trees in Artvin and Saçınka Forest Enterprises. Then, each plot was scanned using a handheld mobile laser scanning (HMLS) instrument. Finally, HMLS data were compared against ground measurements via basic FI measures. Based on statistical tests, no apparent differences were found between the two datasets at the plot level (P < 0.05). There were also robust correlations for diameter breast height at individual tree level (r > 0.97; P < 0.01). Residual analysis showed that both positive and negative errors had a homogeneous distribution, except for plot 8 where tree stems were in irregular shapes due to anthropogenic pressures. When all plots? data were aggregated, average values for the number of trees, basal area, and timber volume were estimated as 535 trees/ha-1, 49.6 m2/ha-1, and 499.7 m3/ha-1, respectively. Furthermore, secondary measures such as the number of saplings and slope were successfully retrieved using HMLS method. The highest overestimation was in timber volume with less than 10% difference at the landscape level. The differences were attributed to poor data quality of conventional measurements, as well as marginal site conditions in some plots. We concluded that the HMLS method met the accuracy standards for most FI measures, except for stand height. Thus, the Turkish FI system could benefit from this novel technology, which in turn supports the implementation of sound forest management and planning.
Keywords: Artvin Province, forest inventory, forest management, GeoSLAM Zeb Revo, LiDAR, mobile laser scanning
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