Skip to Main Content
Amazon Forest Structure from IKONOS Satellite Data and the Automated Characterization of Forest Canopy PropertiesAuthor(s): Michael Palace; Michael Keller; Gregory P. Asner; Stephen Hagen; Bobby Braswell
Source: BIOTROPICA 40(2) :141–150
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
PDF: Download Publication (3.2 B)
DescriptionWe developed an automated tree crown analysis algorithm using 1-m panchromatic IKONOS satellite images to examine forest canopy structure in the Brazilian Amazon. The algorithm was calibrated on the landscape level with tree geometry and forest stand data at the Fazenda Cauaxi (3.75◦ S, 48.37◦ W) in the eastern Amazon, and then compared with forest stand data at Tapajos National Forest (3.08◦ S, 54.94◦ W) in the central Amazon. The average remotely sensed crown width (mean ± SE) was 12.7 ± 0.1 m (range: 2.0–34.0 m) and frequency of trees was 76.6 trees/ha at Cauaxi. At Tapajos, remotely sensed crown width was 13.1 ± 0.1 m (range: 2.0–38.0 m) and frequency of trees was 76.4 trees/ha. At both Cauaxi and Tapajos, the remotely sensed average crown widths were within 3 percent of the crown widths derived from field measurements, although crown distributions showed significant differences between field-measured and automated methods. We used the remote sensing algorithm to estimate crown dimensions and forest structural properties in 51 forest stands (1 km2) throughout the Brazilian Amazon. The estimated crown widths, tree diameters (dbh), and stem frequencies differed widely among sites, while estimated biomass was similar among most sites. Sources of observed errors included an inability to detect understory crowns and to separate adjacent, intermingled crowns. Nonetheless, our technique can serve to provide information about structural characteristics of large areas of unsurveyed forest throughout Amazonia.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationPalace, Michael; Keller, Michael; Asner, Gregory P.; Hagen, Stephen; Braswell, Bobby . 2008. Amazon Forest Structure from IKONOS Satellite Data and the Automated Characterization of Forest Canopy Properties. BIOTROPICA 40(2) :141–150
KeywordsAmazonia, automated algorithm, biomass, crown delineation, crown width, rain forest, tropical forest.
- Structural dynamics of tropical moist forest gaps
- Estimating individual tree leaf area in loblolly pine plantations using LiDAR-derived measurments of height and crown dimensions
- Trees of the Tapajós: a photographic field guide
XML: View XML