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Indirect and direct estimation of forest biomass change using forest inventory and airborne laser scanning data.Author(s): Ronald E. McRoberts; Erik Naesset; Terje Gobakken; Ole-Martin Bollandsas
Source: Remote Sensing of Environment. 164: 36-42.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionRemote sensing-based change estimation typically takes two forms. Indirect estimation entails constructing models of the relationship between the response variable of interest and remotely sensed auxiliary variables at two times and then estimating change as the differences in the model predictions for the two times. Direct estimation entails constructing models of change directly using observations of change in the response and the remotely sensed auxiliary variables for two dates. The direct method is generally preferred, although few statistically rigorous comparisons have been reported. This study focused on statistically rigorous, indirect and direct estimation of biomass change using forest inventory and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data for a Norwegian study area. Three sets of statistical estimators were used: simple random sampling estimators, indirect model-assisted regression estimators, and direct model-assisted regression estimators. In addition, three modeling approaches were used to support the direct model-assisted estimators. The study produced four relevant findings. First, use of the ALS auxiliary information greatly increased the precision of change estimates, regardless of whether indirect or direct methods were used. Second, contrary to previously reported results, the indirect method produced greater precision for the study area mean than the traditional direct method. Third, the direct method that used models whose predictor variables were selected in pairs butwith separate coefficient estimates andmodelswhose predictor variableswere selectedwithout regard to pairing produced the greatest precision. Finally, greater emphasis should be placed on the effects of model extrapolations for values of independent variables in the population that are beyond the range of the variables in the sample.
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CitationMcRoberts, Ronald E.; Naesset, Erik; Gobakken, Terje; Bollandsas, Ole-Martin. 2015.Indirect and direct estimation of forest biomass change using forest inventory and airborne laser scanning data. Remote Sensing of Environment. 164: 36-42.
KeywordsSimple random sampling estimator, Stratified estimator, Model-assisted regression estimator
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