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    Author(s): M.A. Lefsky; D.P. Turner; M. Guzy; W.B. Cohen
    Date: 2005
    Source: Remote Sensing of Environment. 95: 549-558
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.2 MB)


    Extensive estimates of forest productivity are required to understand the relationships between shifting land use, changing climate and carbon storage and fluxes. Aboveground net primary production of wood (NPPAw) is a major component of total NPP and of net ecosystem production (NEP). Remote sensing of NPP and NPPAw is generally based on light use efficiency or process-based biogeochemistry models. However, validating these large area flux estimates remains a major challenge. In this study we develop an independent approach to estimating NPPAw based on stand age and biomass, that could be implemented over a large area and used in validation efforts. Stand age is first mapped by iterative unsupervised classification of a multi-temporal sequence of images from a passive optical sensor (e.g. Landsat TM). Stand age is then cross-tabulated with estimates of stand height and aboveground biomass from LIDAR remote sensing. NPPAw is then calculated as the average increment in LIDAR-estimated biomass over the time period determined using change detection. In western Oregon, productivity estimates made using this method compared well with forest inventory estimates and were significantly different than estimates fiom a spatially distributed biogeochemistry model. The generality of the relationship between LIDAR-based canopy characteristics and stand biomass means that this approach could potentially be widely applicable to landscapes with stand replacing disturbance regimes, notably in regions where forest inventories are not routinely maintained.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Lefsky, M.A.; Turner, D.P.; Guzy, M.; Cohen, W.B. 2005. Combining LIDAR estimates of aboveground biomass and Landsat estimates of stand age for spatially extensive validation of modeled forest productivity. Remote Sensing of Environment. 95: 549-558


    LIDAR estimates, aboveground biomass, Landsat

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