Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Recent increases in forest diseases have produced significant mortality in boreal forests. These disturbances influence merchantable volume predictions as they affect the distribution of live and dead trees. In this study, we assessed the use of lidar, alone or combined with multispectral imagery, to classify trees and predict the merchantable volumes of 61 balsam fir plots in a boreal forest in eastern Canada. We delineated single trees on a canopy height model. The number of detected trees represented 92% of field trees. Using lidar intensity and image pixel metrics, trees were classified as live or dead with an overall accuracy of 89% and a kappa coefficient of 0.78. Plots were classified according to their class of mortality (low/high) using a 10.5% threshold. Lidar returns associated with dead trees were clipped. Before clipping, the root mean square errors were of 22.7 m3 ha-1 in the low mortality plots and of 39 m3 ha-1 in the high mortality plots. After clipping, they decreased to 20.9 m3 ha-1 and 32.3 m3 ha-1 respectively. Our study suggests that lidar and multispectral imagery can be used to accurately filter dead balsam fir trees and decrease the merchantable volume prediction error by 17.2% in high mortality plots and by 7.9% in low mortality plots.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • 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.


    Yoga, Sarah; Bégin, Jean; St-Onge, Benoît; Gatziolis, Demetrios. 2017. Lidar and multispectral imagery classifications of balsam fir tree status for accurate predictions of merchantable volume. Forests. 8(7): 253-.


    Google Scholar


    Forest disturbance, tree mortality, lidar intensity, multispectral imagery, classification, point cloud filtering, merchantable volume.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page